How far back for background checks

Some employers are prevented from asking whether you've ever been convicted of a crime. This applies to the following employers:. Federal and state law also prevents employers from asking job applicants about criminal history that has been expunged, sealed , or subject to executive clemency or pardon. However, there are exceptions.

If you are applying to the following jobs, the employer can review your conviction history, even if it has been sealed:. But they can ask the questions after the conditional offer. Employers can check your criminal background in a few ways.


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They can get information from the Illinois State Police. They can also search for online criminal databases.

HR Basics: Background Checks

Some employers hire agencies to search for local court records. Your criminal history can influence whether an employer hires you. But it can't be the only reason to reject you unless the crime is related to the job. If you are denied because of the criminal history check, the employer must tell you why.

Employers cannot make decisions based on your credit. They are not allowed to any of the followings:. If the denial is a result of the reference check, there is not much you can do. If the reason is a positive drug test, the employer might not be liable. But it's not OK to order the test only because of your race or religion. If the affirmative result is due to a prescription drug you are taking, you can sue for discrimination against disability. No employer can ask for your arrest history.

But some can check your conviction record.

How Far Back Does A Background Check Go?

Your criminal history must be related to the position to reject you. If the employer violates the law, you could complain to the Department of Labor. Employers cannot use your credit to make decisions. However, if good credit is required, they might check your credit history.

You can bring the action in court if there is any violation of the law. You might refuse to do a drug test if you believe it's ordered because of your race, religion or similar traits. You could object to it if it seriously harms your privacy.


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  • You might also refuse if drug use is not relevant. If the employer asks for your arrest record, you can always refuse.

    Background Checks

    If the private employer has 15 or more employees, it cannot ask for the conviction record. In Cook County, most private employers cannot ask for conviction history. If the employer is allowed to ask these questions, but they ask you before the interview or conditional offer, you could also refuse.

    You can refuse inquiries about your credit. However, there are exceptions where having good credit is necessary for the position. The criminal background check will include all criminal records. You might be able to remove some of the offenses on your record. Learn more about expunging or sealing a criminal record. Skip to main content. Want free legal help?

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    How Far Back Do Criminal History Checks Go?

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