Finding the best candidate for a vacant position necessitates a carefully thought out hiring procedure. It’s crucial to take into account all the information while trying to determine which option is best for your company, but you must first gather it. You can arm yourself with that knowledge by running a Tennessee background check on an applicant, whether out of caution or as a result of a legal requirement.
Tennessee makes public records available, whether you need to run a background investigation on a potential employee or need a copy of a birth certificate to apply for a passport.
Access is not limited, but it can be difficult to locate and request records. It can be difficult to know where to start looking for records because different state agencies and governmental branches all keep their own.
The Freedom of Information Act gives those who need access to records the right to do so.
Before requesting any documents, it is important to be aware of the state’s legal requirements because each state has its own procedures.
By granting access to public records, the Tennessee Public Records Act enables citizens to hold the government to account.
You have the right to access public documents, including letters, maps, paper files, books, photographs, sound recordings, and other items as a citizen of Tennessee. Each and every governmental body must abide by the law. However, if a record contains sensitive information, redactions may be made to it.
Background Check Laws in Tennessee
Pre-employment background checks in Tennessee must abide by all applicable federal, state, and local fair hiring laws. These regulations aid in ensuring that Tennessee criminal background checks—or any other pre-employment screening—do not unjustly bar applicants from employment.
There are three statewide background check laws in Tennessee:
2014 Senate Bill
All applicants and employees of local boards of education, charter schools, and childcare programs are required to provide fingerprints, consent to the release of all criminal records, and submit to an FBI and TBI criminal history records check. Any person who is applying for or currently holds a position as a teacher or any other employee who works close to students is subject to this regulation. Background checks must be done before hiring and at least once every five years after that.
House Bill 910
County and municipal law enforcement organizations are forbidden from disclosing the contact details of people who have been detained or charged but not found guilty, including their home address, Social Security number, and telephone number. For CRAs, this restriction does not apply.
Employee Online Privacy Act
The Tenn. Code Ann. 50-1-1003 prohibits employers from accessing the personal internet or social media accounts of their employees or potential employees. This law prohibits employers from requesting passwords from workers or applicants, requesting to be added to a contact list, or requesting access to a personal account while the employer is present. Employees may not be subjected to adverse action or discipline for failing to take any of these steps.
Employees in Tennessee’s public sector are also covered by a ban-the-box law. According to Senate Bill 2440, public sector employers must inform job applicants that a criminal background check is necessary in order to be considered for a position if the position calls for one under federal law or disqualifies candidates due to the commission of a crime under either federal or state law.
Public sector employers are not permitted to ask applicants about their criminal histories if criminal background checks are not mandated by law. After applications are screened, covered employers are permitted to run background checks, but they are also required to give applicants the chance to discuss their criminal records and to take the following factors into account:
- The position’s responsibilities and duties
- The potential impact of the applicant’s criminal record on their ability to perform the job
- how long has it been since your release or conviction
- Age of the candidate at the time of each offense
- The quantity and gravity of each offense
- restitution and integrity after the offense
- The advantages for public policy of hiring criminal history candidates
- If an employer obtains a criminal history, it should be kept private unless the law specifically requires otherwise.
Furthermore, the FCRA, which demands written permission from candidates before conducting background checks through a CRA, must be followed by all Tennessee employers (both private and public sector). If an employer decides against hiring a candidate because of information obtained during a background check, they must also abide by FCRA guidelines for adverse action.
Last but not least, based on location, some Tennessee cities and counties may have local screening laws that are applicable to you and your candidates. Employers may want to adhere to the strictest laws when faced with various federal, state, and local regulations to avoid potential liability.
What Information Does a Tennessee Background Check Reveal?
Depending on the reports you request, a Tennessee background check may reveal information about you. In Tennessee, the majority of employers request details about applicants’ criminal histories, employment histories, educational backgrounds, and professional credentials.
The TBI Background Check
For the general public and certified CRAs, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) offers statewide criminal background checks. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) keeps a centralized database of criminal history data for adults called TORIS. Through online or mail-in requests, it offers statewide adult name-based criminal background checks.
Through a third-party company called IdentoGO, TBI makes fingerprint-based searches of Tennessee and FBI records available. You should be aware that most CRAs don’t offer fingerprint-based services if you need a criminal records search.
Observing these details will not only enable you to perform a Tennessee background check but only do it within the confines of the law. Incorporate them as you continue with your lookup.