By picking the right workers, you can maintain workplace security while meeting the needs of your clients. It will not be sufficient to protect your business from employment issues and potential liability to simply check references and look up applicants’ names online. A thorough Montana background check can assist in safeguarding the reputation of your company and ensuring that you are in compliance with all relevant local, state, and federal laws.
Even though some positions are legally required to undergo background checks, private employers in Montana are free to decide to do their own due diligence and request a report on a potential employee. Understanding the laws that apply to such reports in your state is crucial in order to make use of these records.
One of the oldest traditions of information freedom laws is found in the state of Montana. In 1895, it passed the first laws promoting open access to documents. The state had to revise its Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) laws after drafting a new constitution in 1972.
Although this sounds good, it can be difficult to prevail in FOIA cases in Montana because there are no consequences for governments that break the law. Additionally, there is no administrative appeal.
Additionally, Montana lacks a public record custodian, making it virtually impossible to compel organizations to release information.
The Freedom of Information Act gives those who need access to records the right to do so (FOIA).
Employers in Montana are required to follow both local and federal laws when conducting background checks.
Montana Background Check
Any employee who will be employed in a position that involves handling money, working with vulnerable populations, or working in a sensitive environment must submit to a background check, which is mandated by federal law.
A background check is required by state law for any employee who will hold a position of trust, such as a police officer, teacher, or healthcare provider.
Both times, a state-run background check agency or a licensed private investigator must handle the background investigation.
The employee’s credit history and criminal history must both be investigated as part of the Montana background check.
The employee’s identity and eligibility for employment must also be confirmed by the employer.
Within 30 days of the employee’s start date, a background investigation must be done.
If the employer discovers that the employee has a criminal history, they must determine whether it is related to the position.
Types of Background Checks
Background checks come in two flavors:
Using a person’s name, date of birth, and Social Security number, name-based checks are searches of Montana’s public criminal history records that only include information on the individual.
Fingerprint checks provide precise, comprehensive information, including access to criminal history records in Alaska, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. Those who are legally allowed to request them have access to federal fingerprint-based criminal background checks.
Federal Laws on Employment Background Checks
Employment background checks are governed by a number of federal laws, such as the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Federal Trade Commission carries out the FCRA’s enforcement. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is responsible for enforcing Title VII and other anti-discrimination laws (EEOC).
Employers should use an individualized assessment that allows applicants with criminal histories to justify why they should not be given consideration, according to guidance published by the EEOC in 2012.
Another important law you must abide by with your Montana pre-employment background checks is the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
This law states that prior to conducting background checks on applicants or employees, you must get their permission.
Montana State Laws on Employment Background Checks
You should be aware of the various state laws that regulate employment background checks as a Montana employer. Consumer reporting companies are prohibited from disclosing criminal record information for convictions that are more than seven years old under Mont. Code Ann. 31-3-112. Additionally, they are unable to disclose bankruptcies that are older than 14 years.
According to Mont. Code Ann. 39-2-301, employers are not permitted to demand money from applicants or workers in order to perform background checks or a medical examination as a requirement of employment. In accordance with Mont. Code Ann. 39-2-307, you are also not allowed to inquire about a candidate’s social media login information.
Finally, under Mont. Code Ann. 33-19-205, insurance companies are not permitted to request investigative consumer reports unless notice is given to the consumers that they have the right to be contacted and given copies of the reports.
The employer may refuse to hire the applicant if they believe that the applicant’s criminal history is relevant to the position.
Please get in touch with a certified private investigator or the state-run background check agency if you have any inquiries about Montana’s background check regulations.
What Appears on a Montana Pre-Employment Background Check?
A thorough background investigation in Montana may contain all the necessary data. Most employers demand proof of any criminal history, past employment verification, and proof of education and credentials.
With these tips on Montana background check methods, you stand a good chance of finding the extra information you need on someone and observing the law at the same time. Try them out to see if they work for you or not.