|We are committed to providing the most compliant background checks that you rely on to make critical hiring and volunteering decisions. As a result, we routinely assess our products and services and adjust them as appropriate. AmericanChecked provides the following important notifications and updates that will affect the background check information you will receive. We also share important reminders to you as users of consumer reports:
- Data retention – In the near future, AmericanChecked will be sending a separate communication about how long we will retain your background check reports along with all information related to the preparation of those reports, including information you and your applicants provide to us. This upcoming notification will include instructions on how you can retrieve your reports in our system before we institute a purge of all older information. Please be on the lookout for the notification which will include full details and instructions. No action is needed until we communicate more.
- Criminal Records Reporting – Effective October 24, 2022, we will enact the following changes to our reporting of criminal history records:
- Lower-level offenses – We will only report criminal records classified as felonies and misdemeanors. We will not report degrees classified as violations, traffic, infraction, ordinance, Summary Judgment in PA, Petty Offense, etc. If the degree on the offense does not rise to the level of a misdemeanor or higher, we will not report it. The only exception is if a DUI and DWI conviction is categorized lower than a misdemeanor in certain jurisdictions, we will report those convictions for 7 years. Occasionally, for clients who rescreen candidates, it could mean a current report has no reportable records compared to that candidate’s previous report which may have contained the lower-level information we no longer will report.
- Dismissals – We will no longer report dismissed records with the following adjudications: dismissed, non-conviction, not guilty, nolle prosequi, nolle prosse, acquitted. We will continue to report alternative dispositions for seven years or in accordance with applicable state law. These alternative adjudications include: deferred adjudication, prayer for judgment, adjudication withheld, pretrial diversion, deferred, diverted, etc.
- Job State – Over time you will see additional enhancements to our system to provide you with the option to designate the work or volunteer state of people you order background screening reports about when the state they will work or volunteer in is different than where your organization is headquartered. Currently, the headquarter location for your organization is the default work state. Work or Volunteer State information is needed to ensure accurate reporting of criminal history information in accordance with any state laws that may apply.
- Background Checks on Minors – You must collect a parent or guardian-signed consent/authorization form for background check orders on applicants under 18 years of age. Due to regulatory guidelines, AmericanChecked does not conduct background checks on any subjects under 14 years of age.
- Cancellation of open/pending reports – Searches on reports open over 30 calendar days awaiting a client or applicant response or confirmation will be closed at 30 calendar days. Once a search is canceled for this reason, you must submit a new order if you wish to obtain results for this candidate. Searches that are closed for this reason will appear on the background report as “Cancelled” and those searches will still be invoiced due to the work effort expended attempting to get this information.
- SSN Trace Results – Social Security Number (SSN) Trace information is used as reference information to process a background screening report and should not be included in that report or used to make decisions about the subject of the report. References to specific SSN Trace data elements will no longer be on the background check report itself. Evidence that a SSN Trace was processed will be noted with a message on the report’s summary page that “A Social Security Number Trace was processed as part of this report.” For clients who desire true SSN verification, a Consent Based Social Security Number Verification (CBSV) search can be added to any screening package by contacting your Client Service Representative.
- FCRA Disclosure and Authorization – We encourage all clients to work with your counsel to regularly review your background check disclosure and authorization forms, along with your FCRA adverse action letters, as required under the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act. Please contact our Client Service team if we are currently presenting your forms in our system and you wish to present updated forms. Volunteer-based organizations will receive additional communication regarding this topic in the near future.