It can be difficult to find a job in the current economy, even with the great strides that have been made in recent years. Employers tend to be pickier with the candidates chosen for an interview, let alone those hired - but for good reason. A crucial part of this process lays in the background check. There are a few things to understand about background checks that employers ask every potential employee to do.

A background check will allow an employer access to information about your background, typically reviewed before the hire is confirm. Employers ask about employment history, financial history, your criminal record, and even how you use various social media websites. It is not illegal for employers to require a background check, although it is not legal to ask after genetic or medical information as it can be used in a biased manner. This includes family medical history or history regarding a person’s disability irrelevant to the duties of the position.

Before an employer obtains your background check, they need your written permission. You have the right to say no, but it may directly affect your ability to obtain the position, regardless of your abilities or skills. If the employer believes that there may be something negative in the report, they are legally obligated to give you a copy of the report and a ‘notice of rights.’ There are sometimes things in a background report that aren’t accurate, so it is important for you to catch mistakes and/or understand why you weren’t hired.

There are times where employers find negative things in your background check. It does not have to affect your ability to do your job, and if the employer asks about it, defend yourself against it. There are times when it is illegal to not hire a candidate or fire an employee based on information in their background check, include family medical history or because of age, race, color, gender, or religion. However, when it is job-related, these reasons are legal.

However, the background check should only objectively affect whether a candidate gets the job. Employers can check into financial history, but their decision should not bring race, national origin, gender, disability, or age into the final decision. An employer may run a criminal background check PA, and this may affect a hiring decision, but if you are trying to turn your life around, don’t let this stop you. Making attempts to try and better your life are a positive action.