Answer

Are there different types of background checks?

There are two different types of background checks; instant and comprehensive. Instant background checks, also known as “national criminal database searches” provide general information pulled from a commercially available database. These searches aren’t corroborated against any official county court record. Although they are quick, they can often return with error-filled information, since it’s not derived from a verified source. Comprehensive background checks, like DISA’s, involve multiple National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) FCRA certified employees confirming that all information aligns with the person who is being checked. These individuals also must hold a private investigator license in order to legally be able to research and verify information about the applicant. This process verifies that the information is accurate and is not information from an alias with the same name as the applicant being screened.

The SafetyNet product is DISA's NatCrim product. It generates information from hundreds of different data sources to provide an applicant's address history, name variations, and aliases. The information comes from three general categories: credit bureau header data, commercially available sources like utilities and phone companies, and public sources such as property records, licenses, etc. This information is utilized by DISA as a pointer file to ensure the necessary jurisdictions and aliases are searched for records pertaining to an applicant. This information is utilized internally and our clients do not view the data returned per FCRA regulations.

Pre-employment background checks are the most common. As an employer, you want to ensure a safe hire every time to protect your company’s reputation and workplace safety. Employees are often screened during the hiring process with a background check according to the company’s policy. Depending on the employer and the industry, background checks can vary greatly.

The adverse action process is required for any action taken that denies an individual employment, credit, insurance, etc. based on information obtained through a consumer report. This three-step process complies with federal laws to protect applicants from discrimination. Although it’s the law, many companies still fail to send adverse action notices, subjecting them to potential lawsuits. Employers must abide by the guidelines set forth by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) which requires the employer to provide a standalone disclosure informing the applicant that a consumer report may be obtained with written consent. The employer must also provide a copy of the pre-adverse notice, background report, and summary of rights to the applicant prior to an adverse action decision. If any adverse information appears on their background check, then a pre-adverse notice is used to inform the employee that something has returned which may or may not affect their hiring decision. This gives the employee an opportunity to file a dispute prior to receiving a final adverse action notice. An adverse action notice must be sent only if the employer denies the applicant employment based on the information from the background check.