Employers in Virginia depend on their workforce to support business operations and increase profits. Conducting thorough pre-employment background lookups is essential due to the significance of the employees you hire. In order to hire qualified candidates for every open position, you can learn useful information about each applicant’s background through a Virginia background check for employment.
Criminal history searches conducted statewide look for criminal records in all counties. Employers can search criminal records from all Virginia counties that submit information to the Virginia State Police repository using this background check service. Such counties may include Fairfax County, Virginia Beach, and Prince William County.
All U.S. citizens have access to public records through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), but each state has its own laws and guidelines. The general public has access to millions of public records in Virginia.
If you lack the knowledge to simplify everything, getting access to these files can be challenging.
You might think that all the information you require can be found with a quick trip to the Library of Virginia, but that isn’t exactly how things work here.
Before requesting any documents, it is important to be aware of the state’s legal requirements because each state has its own procedures.
Virginia makes public records easily accessible. Public access is offered to a large number of state agencies’ various public records. Most Virginia agencies are required by specific laws to make meeting minutes and notes available, and many criminal and court records are made public through public access laws.
Public Records Act and Background Check Laws in Virginia
Public Records Act of Virginia
The role of The Library of Virginia in the storage and security of all public records in the state is established by The Virginia Public Records Act. The list specifies which government employees must keep records and when they must be turned in to the library. The Library’s records are available for online searching by the public, who can also order copies through the website.
Federal regulations on background checks for jobs
The Fair Credit Reporting Act, also known as the FCRA, was first passed in 1970 and is now policed by the Federal Trade Commission. This law was created to ensure that consumer information held by consumer reporting agencies is fair, accurate, and protected. It includes extensive rules governing employers’ hiring practices in the United States. Employers must abide by the FCRA’s guidelines when collecting and using consumer information.
Employers are required by the FCRA to inform applicants of their intentions to run background checks. Then, before running the pre-employment background checks, they must get applicants’ written consent.
The FCRA has strict procedures in place for how the situation must be handled if an employer decides to make an unfavorable hiring decision based on the information revealed on a background check.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or EEOC, is responsible for upholding numerous anti-discrimination laws, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
This law forbids discrimination in the workplace based on a candidate’s or employee’s protected characteristics. According to EEOC guidance for employers, when a background check turns up information about a criminal history, each employer is required to individually evaluate the data in light of the particular positions for which the applicants are being considered.
Background Checks for Employment: Virginia State Laws
Virginia has a few laws that employers must abide by during the hiring process, including a ban-the-box law and a law regarding social media checks.
Virginia social media monitoring
Employers are prohibited from the following with regard to the social media accounts of current or potential employees under Va. Code Ann. 40.1-28.7:5:
- Request the user name and password for the applicant’s or employee’s social media accounts.
- Demand that the candidate or employee add the manager or employer to their contact list.
However, it is not forbidden for employers to look at publicly accessible social media data.
The ban-the-box law in Virginia
The governor issued Executive Order 41 in 2015, which made it illegal for public employers to inquire about applicants’ arrests and criminal convictions.
Va. Code Ann. 19.2-389.3, which is applicable to both public and private employers in the state, was adopted by the state in July 2020.
Employers are not permitted to inquire about arrests or convictions for simple marijuana possession from applicants under this law.
Any information about simple marijuana possession arrests or convictions on an applicant’s application may be left off if that applicant is asked about their criminal history.
Virginia State Background Check Resources.
The length of a background check depends on how thorough the investigation is. If it’s a quick background check, for instance, you might get your results in a few minutes or less than a working day. However, there are some circumstances where it may take a few days or weeks for an investigation to produce results.
In Virginia, a background check that needs thorough court records might take longer to complete. This is due to the possibility that assistance from court staff is required or that records must be collected on-site using a public records terminal.
These tips on Virginia background check processes can be an answer to your background lookup needs in the state. They are meant to facilitate a simple and effective background check activity in the state of Virginia.