Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Fair Credit Reporting Act?

The Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act was enacted in 1971. The FCRA created the first federal regulation of the consumer reporting industry citing “a need to ensure that consumer reporting agencies exercise their grave responsibilities with fairness, impartiality and a respect for the consumer’s right to privacy.”

Should I obtain an authorization and disclosure form from a prospective employee, tenant, or volunteer?

Yes. Criminal records are public information, but credit and other Fair Credit Reporting Act information is not. Therefore, requires a consent form to be signed by the person on whom the background check is being run.

What is found on a criminal record search?

Crime is classified into felonies and misdemeanors. Local crimes, often misdemeanors are called ordinance violations. Crimes are usually separated into capital and non-capital felonies, gross or petty misdemeanors, and violations. The basic difference between a felony and misdemeanor is the penalties. Felony conviction generally carries possible sentence to prison for at least a year, with maximums up to life. Capital felonies are those for which the death penalty is authorized. Misdemeanors are punishable by jail sentence, fines, or both. Violations, generally traffic violations, are not considered criminal convictions and are penalized by fine alone.

We have a background screening plan, but it doesn’t consist of current employees. Should we adjust or process?

Yes. By screening all of your employees, it ensures that you have consistent, compliant, and accurate records. This measure will reduce your risk of discriminatory employment practices by treating all employees equally.

How long does it take to get a lab drug test back?

All drug tests that are “Negative” are returned within 24 hours. Tests that are deemed “Non-Negative” are usually sent back within 48-72 hours. All “Non-Negative” tests should be confirmed by a lab. Upon completion of the Medical Review Service of the post-test interview, the results are sent.

Which drugs should I test for during a drug test?

Most public and private drug-testing programs test for the “NIDA 5”. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is a federal agency within the United States Department of Health and Human Services, formerly responsible for setting guidelines on drug-testing programs for federal employees. The Substance Abuse and Mental Services Administration (SAMHSA) currently carries out this function. The “NIDA 5” consists of Amphetamines, Cocaine, Marijuana, Opiates, and Phencyclidine.