How to Do a Background Check
Get Started Now With Our Step-by-Step Background Check Start-Up Kit
- Step 1: Open a Background Check Account -- FREE Setup
- Step 2: Place a Background Check Order
- Step 3: Review and Act on the Background Check Report
Note: Most documents are pdf. Get Adobe® Reader® for free:
Step 1: Open a Background Check Account -- FREE SetupEach employer is responsible to implement background check policies and procedures that meet legal and operational requirements:
- Download and review the Notice to Users of Consumer Reports: Obligations of Users Under the FCRA (effective 1/1/2013). This FCRA required document summarizes your obligations under the FCRA. [Download]
- New York employers download, review and post in a conspicuous manner and in a place accessible to employees New York Correction Law Article 23-A, Licensure and Employment of Persons Previously Convicted of One or More Criminal Offenses: [Download]
- San Francisco Notice San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance Notice (English Version): [Download]
Note: San Francisco requires employers to follow strict rules regarding job applicants’ and employees’ criminal history. These apply to employers doing business in San Francisco who have 20 or more employees (regardless of the employees’ locations). For the San Francisco Office of Labor Standards Enforcement page including links to notices in several languages click here.
- See How to Do a Comprehensive Background Check.
- See Background Check Guidelines and Sample Policies.
Complete and return the following:
- Agreement: Complete, sign, and return. [Download]
- Account Information: Complete both pages and return with required documents [Download]
- FCRA Requirements: Sign and return. [Download]
- Access Security Requirements: Sign and return. [Download]
- Supplemental Agreements (if applicable):
- If you expect to order California Workers' Compensation reports, complete and return the California Workers' Compensation Form [Download].
- If you expect to order Drug Screening, complete and return the Drug Screening Account Information Form [Download].
- If you expect to use E-Verify or Form I-9, complete and return the Client Registration Forms [Download].
- Please notify our office if you expect to order Credit Reports.
Our customer service department will contact you to answer any questions that you may have and will activate your account upon approval.
Step 2: Place a Background Check OrderA Matter of Fact's paperless online order entry and applicant interface streamlines workflow and reduces employer compliance concerns about collecting personal identifiers and providing mandated notifications. See QuickApp™ - Online Background Check Order Entry and Applicant Interface for more detailed information.
Log into our Online Tracking System
- Request a background check by selecting the order tab at the top of the screen.
- Check the searches you would like conducted. (For help in deciding which searches to run see Comprehensive Background Checks.)
- Provide the name and email address of your applicant. (The system will automatically send your applicant login information for completing the Background Check Application form online.)
Sample FCRA and State/Local mandated Background Check Disclosure and Authorization Forms and Notices are provided to the applicant as part of the interface and are available to you for viewing online.
There are no additional charges to use A Matter of Fact's standard QuickApp™ to place orders.
Step 3: Review and Act on the Background Check ReportThe federal FCRA and various local, state, and federal laws and regulations govern the actions taken by users of background checks (see Background Check Related Laws). Each of the following actions may be governed by such laws and regulations.
- If the background check report contains information that indicates identity theft may be involved, 1) employ reasonable procedures to verify the identity of the applicant before giving him/her a copy of the report and 2) refer the applicant to Applicant FAQ: I may be the victim of identity theft, what should I do?
- Provide the applicant/employee with a copy of the report as required/requested.
- Based on your employment background check policy review the report to verify that the applicant meets the job requirements.
- If the applicant/employee is to be denied employment or promotion, caution is advised (seek legal advice prior to taking adverse action to ensure that any actions are in compliance with applicable local,
state and federal laws and regulations).
- If the potential adverse action is based on the existence of a criminal record, you may need to conduct an individualized assessment. See EEOC Guidance On Use Of Criminal Records.
- If the applicant/employee is to be denied employment or promotion based at least in part on information provided by A Matter of Fact you have specific legal requirements. For example, employers need to provide both pre and post adverse action notices, see FCRA Background Check Requirements for Employers: If Any Adverse Action Is To Be Taken. For Sample Denial Notifications, see Online Employment Background Check Management System: Sample Documents.
- Some jurisdictions may have additional requirements. For example, see NYC Fair Chance Act Notice.
Disclaimer/NoticeA Matter of Fact is not a law firm and cannot provide legal advice. The information and forms on this site are for educational purposes only and cannot be relied upon as legal advice. It is important that employers work with counsel to develop an employment screening program specific to their needs. Employers should obtain legal advice concerning their legal responsibilities, and to ensure that background check documents, policies and procedures are in compliance with applicable local, state and federal laws and regulations. For more see Legal Disclaimer.
A Matter of Fact is a California-based employment screening company. Reports prepared by A Matter of Fact are intended to comply with applicable California laws and regulations..