Employee Background Checks In Texas: FAQs
Individuals applying for jobs in the state of Texas are likely to find that prospective employers want to run a background check. Employee background checks in Texas are legal, but there are some guidelines that define the type of information employers can look up, and how far back their background check can go.
Employment law attorney Dan A. Atkerson often receives questions about how the employee background check process works. Here, job applicants in Allen, Plano, Frisco, TX, and surrounding areas can receive answers to frequently asked questions about employee background checks.
What Can An Employee See On a Background Check?
Employee background checks are becoming increasingly more common, so it is reasonable for job applicants to expect that their prospective employer will want to run a check. The most common question regarding background checks is what exactly can an employee see when a background check is run.
Legally, employers can look at two types of information: a person’s credit information and their criminal background.
Do I Have to Give My Approval for a Background Check?
Even though state laws allow employers to run an employee background check, it does not give them permission to do so without the employee’s consent. Employers must notify job applicants in writing that a background check will be run.
Furthermore, the employer must receive the applicant’s written consent before the background check to be completed. Before denying an employee background check, applicants should understand that it may disqualify them from the hiring process.
How Far Back Can a Background Check Go?
The general rule for employee background checks in Texas is that employers can look at a job applicant’s history up to the past seven years.
Under certain circumstances a prospective employer can extend the background check to go as far back as the applicant’s 18th birthday. Since the courts generally seal the criminal records of minors, there is no need for an employer to go back further than the age of 18.
Are There Exceptions to the Seven-Year Limit on Background Checks?
Yes, there are some exceptions to the seven-year background check rule. Some exceptions include:
- Jobs with a salary that exceeds $75,000
- Jobs with an insurance agency
- Jobs that involve residential deliveries or in-home services (such as plumbers, utility workers, delivery drivers, etc.)
- Instances when the employer runs a person’s background internally, rather than working with an outside agency
Do Deferred Adjudication, Accepted Probations, or Arrests Show Up?
If someone has been arrested in the past, but was never charged, or if charges are dismissed without an admission of guilt, that will not show up on a criminal background check. Instead, background checks should only contain convictions, guilty pleas, or pleas of no contest. This includes instances where someone makes a guilty plea and then accepts probation or deferred adjudication instead of prosecution.
Learn More About Employee Background Checks
If you’ve been asked to submit to an employee background check and have questions about what may be found or how far back the report will go, attorney Dan A. Atkerson would be happy to address your concerns. To schedule a personal consultation to discuss your situation, send us a message online, or call our law firm at (214) 383-3606.