Background checks are a way for your hopeful employer to find out about your past. If you are seeking a new position, there was some reason that you have left your old position. Why this happened may be something that you are worried about your potential new boss finding out. After all, if they pull a background check on you, they will be able to see those that you have worked for in the past, which could be a problem for those that don’t want their past employers providing information that may not be the whole story or positive in nature.
What Are Your Rights?
Each state differs considerably in regards to what your former boss can say about you if and when they are contacted by a potential future employer. Legally, there is no federal law that prohibits the past employer from providing any information they want to about you. Yet, there are state laws in many states that provide you with some form of protection.
For example, in California, the state laws dictate that the past employers can not interfere in any way with the past employee’s attempts to find new employment by providing misleading or false information about their work history. In other states very little can be told about you to your past employment.
Most employers do have in place a policy for their own company on what will be provided. Usually, this is done to help protect the individual from suing the company down the road. Most employers will only provide information that is specific to the dates that you worked for them, your final salary and other very minimal, only positive information. You should contact the employer and find out what their policy is on this issue.
On the other hand, there are some employment fields that require that the past employer fully disclose any and all information about the employee. For example, if you are a truck driver, your past employer must provide an accurate description of your physical fitness on the job, if you took drugs tests, if you failed them, as well as if you refused them.
If you will be applying for a position, understanding what your state’s laws are in regards to past employers is important. Your background check can provide your potential employer with the necessary information to learn much more about you.