Definitions

County Criminal Records Search:

Our default county criminal records product is a 7 year felony and misdemeanor search at the county seat court. Information is always received directly from the court; database information is never utilized for our county criminal records searches. Although 7 years is the minimum time frame, we will routinely return information to clients as far back as applicable federal and state laws allow. Record contents typically include date of the offense and/or filing, description of the offense, disposition, and case or file number. All counties nationwide are available.


Statewide Criminal Records Search:

This search comes directly from the state’s official criminal record repository. Information is compiled from the counties within that state. The repository typically includes felony and misdemeanor information from all or most counties; however, be aware that the repository information may be incomplete if a county fails to provide information to the state repository. In addition, pending and recent charges are routinely missing. Statewide searches are valuable as a supplement to our county criminal records search. Available in most states.


National Criminal Database Search:

This is a database search for felony and misdemeanor crimes committed in numerous jurisdictions nationwide. Records are indexed from state repositories, state correctional facilities, and some county records. The availability of records varies greatly from state to state. This is not a true nationwide search of all criminal records, but it is a good supplemental search to our county criminal records search. It can also help identify crimes that occurred in jurisdictions that are not revealed by an application, resume, or SSN Trace. Any information returned on a database search is automatically confirmed at the county of origin before being released to the client.


Federal Criminal Records Search:

This search comes directly from the state’s official criminal record repository. Information is compiled from the counties within that state. The repository typically includes felony and misdemeanor information from all or most counties; however, be aware that the repository information may be incomplete if a county fails to provide information to the state repository. In addition, pending and recent charges are routinely missing. Statewide searches are valuable as a supplement to our county criminal records search. Available in most states.


Federal Civil Records:

Federal civil searches include records that involve alleged violations of federal statutory or constitutional rights. Examples of federal civil cases include violations of civil rights, actions against the federal government, interstate commerce, anti-trust activity and violation of federal codes. Cases are searched at the appropriate district court for the past 7 years.


Sex Offender Registry Search:

This search includes a national database search of registered sex offenders, as well as a direct search in all states of residence and employment. The registry search reveals individuals that are currently registered as sex offenders; the originating offense is not included, but would likely be revealed in a county criminal records search. Available in all states.


Homeland Security Search:

This product is a search of 134 domestic and international sanctions and exclusions lists, including the Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) list. Our Homeland Security Search satisfies a key component of the Patriot Act.


County Civil Records:

Civil cases include disputes between private citizens, corporations, governmental bodies and other organizations. Types of cases may include employer-employee conflicts, property, personal rights, non-payment of goods, personal injuries, liability suits, or contract disputes. Records are searched on-site at the appropriate court; a seven year history of filings is returned.


SSN Trace

A Social Security Number (SSN) Trace is an invaluable tool used to identify names and addresses that are historically associated with a given Social Security Number. Information is generally compiled from credit headers and other public and private information sources. It will also suggest previously used names or other aliases that should be researched.

This search will reveal when and where a SSN was issued, as well as alert clients to any particular problems, such as identifying SSNs that have never been issued, those that were issued to a deceased person, or SSNs that were issued before an applicant was born. The SSN Trace is a crucial component of criminal history research as the address history is the roadmap used to select court jurisdictions that should be researched for criminal records.
Clients who order a SSN Trace online can view the results instantly, allowing them to use that information for criminal history ordering purposes.
Our SSN Trace report will typically show:

  • If the social security number has been validly issued
  • Year in which the SSN was issued
  • What state the SSN was issued in
  • If that number belongs to someone deceased
  • Addresses where the applicant has lived or might be living now
  • Aliases, previous names, AKAs, misspelled names, changed identity
  • Dates of birth associated with that SSN
  • Other people associated with the same SSN

Employment Credit Reports:

Employers use credit reports for those situations where employees may have access to cash, equipment, or other people’s property. In these situations, an employer’s knowledge of the applicant’s credit history may be prudent. The TransUnion employment credit report header consists of name, current address, previous addresses, SSN, and may also include the following: phone, current employer, up to three previous employers, and aliases. The credit file includes certain public records, such as bankruptcy records and tax liens, along with a credit summary regarding number of trades, past due or negative accounts, and total indebtedness. You will also receive specific details on each individual trade. This credit report is designed for employment purposes, so it does not place an inquiry on the applicant’s report.

Clients who order employment credit reports online can view the results of the report instantly.

E-Verify / Employment Eligibility Verification

This post-hire product will verify if your applicant is legally allowed to work in the United States. Information is accessed from the Department of Homeland Security and the Social Security Administration to verify your applicant’s right-to-work status. All federal contractors and sub-contractors are required by law to verify their employees’ eligibility to legally work in the U.S. In addition, more than a dozen states also require or strongly encourage E-Verify on certain employees. All other public and private sector employers may use the system voluntarily.
Our electronic E-Verify solution electronically queries DHS and SSA databases to verify new employees’ U.S. work eligibility. This query includes verification that your candidate’s name and SSN match in the SSA database. In most cases, the results are returned to you instantly. Enhanced capabilities include email alerts and reports that help track and monitor tentative non-confirmations.
Benefits to our E-Verify solution:

  • Significantly reduce your potential risks of non-compliance which would result in exposure to financial penalties and consequent negative publicity. For employers who knowingly hire or knowingly continue to employ unauthorized workers, civil penalties range from $250 to $11,000 per violation. For employers engaging in a pattern or practice of knowingly hiring or continuing to employ unauthorized workers, criminal penalties can be as much as $3,000 per unauthorized employee and/or 6 months imprisonment.
  • Help ensure workforce stability and assist in eliminating the potential for disruptive and costly turnover created by the mandatory removal of legally unauthorized employees.
  • Minimize the potential for attracting legally unauthorized candidates by acknowledging your participation in E-Verify.
  • Seamlessly integrates with Compliance Background Screening Services (CBSS)’s existing ordering system.
  • Employee information will be carried over to the E-Verify screen to reduce data entry.

Verification & References

Consider these statistics: According to a 2003 Society of Human Resources Management study, 53% of all job applications contain inaccurate information. In that same year, the Wall Street Journal reported that 34% of all application forms contain outright lies about experience, education, and ability to perform essential functions on the job. Verification of employment, education and licenses is crucial not only for determining dates, degrees and titles, but also to reveal whether your applicant has falsified information on their application or resume – behavior that is even more telling than the application data itself.


Employment Verification:

The verification of an applicant’s employment history can provide invaluable insight into the type of person you are considering hiring. In addition, it can help eliminate any unexplained gaps in employment. Basic employment verification typically includes dates of employment, job title, reason for leaving and eligibility for rehire. Compliance Background Screening Services (CBSS) will also inquire about salary history, punctuality and attendance, strong and weak points, performance, and whether appropriate notice was given. Clients may also request additional questions as necessary.


Education Verification:

Most applicants are eager to supply college or continuing education information. This information may be misrepresented in order to receive more favorable consideration. Look for words like “attended” or “completed course work”, which implies possession of a degree when, in fact, this may not be the case.
Our default search product is the highest degree earned or last institution attended. However, we will gladly confirm all degrees earned and all institutions attended at a client’s request. High School Diploma verification is also available, as is GED completion. This verification includes dates of attendance, degree received and date of graduation. Academic transcripts, GPA, or grades are not typically available.
Due to the proliferation of diploma mills, Compliance Background Screening Services (CBSS) will also provide you with a school’s accreditation information at no extra charge for each U.S. post-secondary institution.


Professional License Verification:

Many positions require an individual to have received specialized training, certification, or a professional license. We can confirm the information an individual provides. Reports typically include license type, issuing authority and dates of validity. For certain license types, disciplinary history may also be included.


Personal References:

Personal references can provide helpful insight into a person’s work ethic and character. Reports typically include information regarding how long and in what capacity the reference has known the individual, as well as questions about their reliability, trustworthiness, and whether the reference would recommend the person for hire.


Driving Records:

Driving records are strongly recommended whenever you have an employee who drives on company time, whether in a company or personal vehicle. Most states include a minimum of 3 years history, although some go back further. Reports typically include the license status, history of violations (including DUI/DWI) and accidents, and license expiration date. Driving records are also useful for general verification purposes, such as confirmation of subject’s name, AKA or date of birth.
Instant results are available from almost every state. Records from Canada and some U.S. territories are also available.

Our DOT/FMCSA background checks will help you maintain compliance with applicable regulations concerning new hires. As part of a DOT background check, Compliance Background Screening Services (CBSS) will conduct a mandatory inquiry into an applicant’s drug and alcohol history with each employer, as well as run the required driving record, including a CDLIS search.

We can also conduct DOT regulated inquiries for other agencies, such as the FAA. Please contact our offices for a complete menu of available DOT services.


Annual/Periodic Driving Record Service:

For those employers who need to review employee driving records on an annual or periodic basis, Compliance Background Screening Services (CBSS) offers the ability to submit numerous driving record requests simultaneously via our import module. This convenient solution greatly reduces data entry time. In addition, results are typically returned to you the same day and will include a single spreadsheet summary of each individual’s driving status and violation history, making the review of those records extremely efficient.


Workers Compensation Claims:

Employers may request Workers’ Compensation reports to determine if an applicant can perform the essential functions of a job with reasonable accommodations. Record contents vary from state to state, but will typically include date of injury, time lost, employer name, type of injury, body part and job related disability.
Please note that Worker’s Compensation information is considered to be health and disability related under the American’s with Disabilities Act (ADA). To be in compliance, this product is available only after tentative or permanent job offer has been made to the applicant. Once a job offer has been made, an employer may inquire about health or disability information if such inquiry is related to the specific job and performance requirements. This information should be asked for on a separate health and disability questionnaire. Previous Workers’ Compensation filings are NOT grounds to refuse employment to an applicant, but are used to determine the ability to perform essential job function.

Workers’ Compensation claims records are available in all states except: Alaska, Alabama, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Texas, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin.


International Searches

Compliance Background Screening Services (CBSS) can conduct court records searches, employment verification and education confirmation in many countries throughout the world. Availability, turnaround time and cost vary significantly based on the country. For specific information regarding international searches, please contact our office.

Court Records:

Criminal and civil court records are available in most countries. Turnaround time is usually a few days to a few weeks. Local, regional and/or national courts may be accessed for information. Due to privacy laws in other countries, a copy of the applicant’s signed release may be required.


Verifications & References:

Verification of international employment and education are becoming more common as applicants choose to immigrate to the United States. Our international verification service utilizes highly trained researchers that operate 24 hours a day out of a call center in Spokane, Washington. Translators are available when necessary, and calls are made at appropriate times depending on time zone. In addition, applicants’ personally identifiable information (PII) is never outsourced to overseas researchers except in extreme circumstances. Due to privacy laws in other countries, a copy of the applicant’s signed release, as well as other documentation, may be required.


Industry Solutions

 

Financial |Healthcare |Transportation |Volunteer Screening

 

Certain industries may be strongly encouraged, or legally required, to perform certain searches on employment applicants. The following solutions will help those employers stay in compliance with industry regulations or standards. More traditional products may also be recommended in addition to the specialized searches below.

Financial

Banking Enforcement Actions

This search identifies individuals and institutions that have been the subject of banking enforcement actions, orders or penalties under the following banking agencies:

  • Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (FRB)
  • Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)
  • National Credit Union Administration (NCUA)
  • Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC)
  • Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS)

Federal Sanctions & Exclusions

This search checks the GSA’s Excluded Parties List System (EPLS) and the OIG’s List of Excluded Individuals/Entities (LEIE) for excluded or sanctioned individuals.
The Excluded Parties List System (EPLS) includes information regarding entities debarred, suspended, proposed for debarment, excluded or disqualified under the nonprocurement common rule, or otherwise declared ineligible from receiving Federal contracts, certain subcontracts, and certain Federal assistance and benefits.
The List of Excluded Individuals/Entities (LEIE) includes information regarding individuals or entities excluded from participating in Federally-funded health care programs. Bases for exclusion include convictions for program-related fraud and patient abuse, licensing board actions and default on Health Education Assistance Loans.

Homeland Security

This product is a search of 134 domestic and international sanctions and exclusions lists, including the Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) list. Our Homeland Security Search satisfies a key component of the Patriot Act.


Healthcare

Healthcare Sanctions

This product will search a database of adverse actions against individuals in the healthcare industry. The search includes the OIG (LEIE), GSA (EPLS) and FDA exclusion lists, along with other 800 other sources, including federal and state agencies. The Healthcare Sanctions search is crucial in revealing individuals and entities currently excluded from receiving payment from Medicare, Medicaid and all Federal health care programs.

Professional License Verification

Many positions require an individual to have received specialized training, certification, or a professional license, we can confirm the information an individual provides. Reports typically include license type, issuing authority and dates of validity. For certain license types, disciplinary history may also be included.


Transportation

Our DOT/FMCSA background checks will help you maintain compliance with applicable regulations concerning new hires. As part of a DOT background check, Compliance Background Screening Services (CBSS) will conduct a mandatory inquiry into an applicant’s drug and alcohol history with each employer, as well as run the required driving record, including a CDLIS search. In addition, we offer DOT drug testing for pre-employment as well as random screening purposes.
We can also conduct DOT regulated inquiries for other agencies, such as the FAA. Please contact our offices for a complete menu of available DOT services.


VolunteerSCREEN

Although employers may not consider volunteers to be “employees”, the Federal Trade Commission does indeed intend that the FCRA’s definition of “employment purposes” extends to independent contractors and volunteers. As such, we feel it is best practice to screen volunteers as you would regular employees. In some cases, however, it is not cost-effective to screen volunteers with the same due diligence that can be afforded to employees. In those cases, we offer the VolunteerSCREEN.
This search combines a national criminal history database check with a national sex offender registry check to identify potentially violent criminals and sex offenders before they come into contact with at-risk populations.

Please note that this is not a true ‘nationwide’ or comprehensive national search, rather it is considered multi-jurisdictional. It is completely dependent on participation from the originating source. Originating sources may include: county court records, state repository records, or state correctional records.


FCRA Compliance

 

Employer Information | Consumer Information

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Employer Information

What is the Fair Credit Reporting Act(FCRA)?

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is a federal law (15 U.S.C. § 1681 et seq.) that regulates the collection, dissemination, and use of consumer information, including consumer credit information. Almost any type of background check that an employer requests from Compliance Background Screening Services (CBSS) to be used in the hiring process is considered a consumer report. In addition, Compliance Background Screening Services (CBSS) is considered a Consumer Reporting Agency. Employers must follow all FCRA requirements in order to remain in compliance. This page will provide a summary of information that is helpful to employers when using consumer reports for employment purposes.

What is a “Consumer Report”?

According to the FCRA, a consumer report is “any written, oral, or other communication of any information by a consumer reporting agency bearing on a consumer’s credit worthiness, credit standing, credit capacity, character, general reputation, personal characteristics, or mode of living which is used or expected to be used or collected in whole or in part for the purpose of serving as a factor in establishing the consumer’s eligibility for…employment purposes.”
Employment purposes may include hiring, promotion, reassignment or retention.
In addition to consumer reports, there is another type of report called an investigative consumer report. An investigative consumer report “means a consumer report or portion thereof in which information on a consumer’s character, general reputation, personal characteristics, or mode of living is obtained through personal interviews with neighbors, friends, or associates of the consumer reported on or with others with whom he is acquainted or who may have knowledge concerning any such items of information.” Examples of this type of consumer report are personal references or employment verifications that include information related to the employee’s performance, attitude, character, etc.
As you can see, the FCRA not only governs credit information, but also other consumer reports such as criminal court records, driving records, and employment verification.

Requesting Consumer Reports

Before a consumer reporting agency such as Compliance Background Screening Services (CBSS) may provide or prepare a consumer report for an employer, it must obtain certification from the employer that the employer (1) provided the required disclosure to the applicant/employee, (2) received written permission to obtain the report, (3) will not use the information in violation of any applicable equal employment opportunity law or regulation, and (4) will abide by the requirements stated before taking any adverse employment action.
Compliance Background Screening Services (CBSS) will obtain certification from each end-user/client during the account setup process that all of the requirements will be adhered to. We will also determine what the end-user’s permissible purpose is for requesting consumer report, which, in this case, is employment purposes. Reports may be acquired and used for no other reason than the stated permissible purpose.
In addition, we must provide each end-user/client with a copy of their Obligations of Users Under the FCRA. Each client should read and be familiar with the contents of this document.
Before an employer may obtain a consumer report or cause one to be prepared, it must disclose to that person in writing that such a report may be obtained and secure the person’s written authorization. This written disclosure must be contained in a separate document used solely for that purpose, and it may not simply be included on an employment application or in an employee handbook. Per the FTC, the disclosure and written authorization may be included in the same document.
If an employer wishes to obtain an investigative consumer report, it must follow the requirements discussed above with respect to consumer reports and meet the following additional requirements:

  • An employer must advise the employee or applicant in writing that an investigative consumer report may be requested no later than three days after the report is requested.
  • It must advise the employee or applicant that the report may include information as to his/her character, general reputation, personal characteristics and mode of living.
  • It must advise the employee or applicant that, on written request, it will provide additional information, including a “complete and accurate disclosure of the nature and scope of the investigation requested” and a copy of the employee or applicant’s summary of rights under the law. If the additional disclosure is requested by the employee within a “reasonable period of time,” this information must be provided by the employer in writing and delivered (personally or by mail) no later than five days after receipt of the request or five days after the report is ordered, whichever is later.

Compliance Background Screening Services (CBSS) will provide each end-user with FCRA-compliant forms that may be used to procure consumer and/or investigative consumer reports on applicants/employees.

Using Consumer Reports

Before taking any “adverse action” (which includes “a denial of employment or any other decision for employment purposes that adversely affects a current or prospective employee”) based in whole or in part on a consumer report, an employer must provide the affected person with a copy of the report and a written description of that person’s rights under the FCRA. This allows the consumer to review the information and, if they feel the information is inaccurate or incomplete, dispute the information in the consumer report.
The FTC has taken the position that the legislative history of the FCRA clearly anticipates that this notice will be accompanied by an opportunity to clear up any errors in the report. The FCRA, however, does not require employers to refrain from taking any action based on a negative report once the notice has been given.
After taking any adverse action, the employer again must notify the consumer that adverse action has been taken based in whole or in part on a consumer report. Further, the employer must provide the individual with:

  • The name, address and telephone number of the reporting agency (including the toll-free number of a national agency);
  • Notice of the person’s right to obtain an additional free copy of the report by making the request within 60 days;
  • Notice of the person’s right to dispute the accuracy or completeness of the report with the consumer reporting agency; and
  • A notice that the consumer reporting agency did not make the decision to take the adverse action and is unable to provide the person the specific reasons why the action was taken.

Adverse Action Assistance

To help employers maintain compliance with the requirements of the FCRA, we offer Adverse Action Assistance. If you notify us when you intend to take adverse action against an applicant or employee, based on a consumer report or an investigative consumer report, we will send all of the legally required information to the candidate via USPS certified mail within 24 hours of your decision.
What do we send?
First Communication:

  • Notification that you may not be offering employment due to information contained in the report
  • A complete copy of all consumer reports pertaining to the individual
  • A copy of A Summary of Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act
  • Request for Disclosure form that the applicant may use to dispute the information contained in the report or to request another copy of their report

Second Communication:

  • Notice of the adverse action
  • Name, address, and telephone number of the consumer reporting agency that provided the report
  • A statement informing the consumer of their right to obtain another free copy of the report within 60 days
  • A statement that the CRA did not make the decision and is unable to provide specific reasons why adverse action was taken
  • A statement informing the consumer of their right to dispute the accuracy or completeness of any information in the report directly with the CRA
  • Another Request for Disclosure form that the applicant may use to dispute the information contained in the report or to request another copy of their report

All of these steps must be completed to be in compliance with the FCRA. At a nominal fee, we can assure you that every step in the compliance procedure will be carried out.

FCRA Links

State Consumer Reporting Laws

In addition to the federal FCRA, employers must also be aware of state consumer reporting laws that govern the use of consumer reports. Many states have enacted legislation regarding consumer reports that may be more restrictive than federal law. We suggest you consult your legal counsel to determine if your policies and procedures are compliant.


CDLIS

CDLIS allows employers and their agents to comply with FMCSA requirements ( § 391.21-391.27), by searching within the “Commercial Driver’s License Information System” for any prior licenses, current CDL and up to three prior licenses held by said individual. Provides user with:

  • Present Jurisdictional State and Driver’s License Number
  • Name
  • DOB
  • Social Security Number Match
  • Up to Three Previously held CDL Numbers
  • AKA Information

Mandated by the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act (CMVSA) of 1986, CDLIS supports the issuance of commercial driver licenses (CDLs) by the jurisdictions, and assists jurisdictions in meeting the goals of the basic tenet “that each driver, nationwide, have only one driver license and one record” through the cooperative exchange of commercial driver information between jurisdictions.
http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/registration-licensing/cdl/cdl.htm


WANTS AND WARRANTS

The National Wants & Warrants Search is a nationwide search for outstanding, extraditable warrants in any state including misdemeanors and/or felonies. If a warrant is not extraditable, it may not show up in this search. This search provides originating source information only (agency name and phone number). Confirmation of any information is the client’s responsibility.


TenantSCREEN

This search is for property management companies and landlords that need an inexpensive, quick search for potential tenants. Our National TenantSCREEN combines a national criminal history database check with a national sex offender registry check to identify potentially violent criminals and sex offenders before they sign a lease.

Please note that this is not a true ‘nationwide’ or comprehensive national search, rather it is considered multi-jurisdictional. It is completely dependent on participation from the originating source. Originating sources may include: county court records, state repository records, or state correctional records.

Record contents typically include date of the offense and/or filing, description of the offense, and disposition.


Our Technology


Compliance Background Screening (CBSS) has partnered with Imagination Technologies to bring you eClientLink. eClientLink is a powerful and simple to use web-based ordering system that allows clients to order and view background searches 24/7. This system delivers instant results, advanced data security, and superior usability, making it the best client interface in the background screening industry.


Using our XML capability, clients can integrate our eClientLink online ordering system directly with their own HRIS or ATS systems. The LinXml module delivers XML capabilities for the exchange of background screening requests and results via the internet using the widely accepted FRS LinXml standard. The XML Schema for FRS was developed as a hybrid of the HR-XML Consortium’s Background Checking standard and has been utilized in numerous successful integrations, including many widely-used recruiting and tracking systems, as well as proprietary software.


Consumer Information

The following information is provided as a convenience to consumers who may have questions about a background check that was procured by Compliance Background Screening Services (CBSS).

FCRA Links

FACT Act Information

The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACT Act) of 2003 provides that all consumers are entitled to obtain a free copy of their consumer report from certain consumer reporting agencies once during a 12 month period. If Compliance Background Screening Services (CBSS) has procured a consumer report on you, you may request a copy of your report pursuant to the Free Annual File Disclosure Rule.
Please note that Compliance Background Screening Services (CBSS) will only have a consumer report on you if you have applied for employment or tenancy with an employer or landlord who performs background checks AND the background check was performed by Compliance Background Screening Services (CBSS). Otherwise, Compliance Background Screening Services (CBSS) will NOT have a file for you.
Compliance Background Screening Services (CBSS) does not re-use any information that was obtained for a consumer report. Each report is for one-time use only. Any subsequent requests for a consumer report are re-run at the time of request.
To request a copy of your free report, please contact us in one of the following ways:

  1. You may download our Request for Disclosure Form and fax it to 800-403-9044 or 337-376-5259.
  2. You may call 888-959-5242.
  3. You may mail a written request to:
Compliance Background Screening Services (CBSS)
P.O. Box 52911
Lafayette, LA 70505

Please be aware that we must take reasonable measures to confirm your identity when supplying a consumer report. You will be asked for your full name, social security number, date of birth, phone number and email address, as well as the name of the employer or landlord who initially requested the consumer report.