Most employers in Nevada conduct background checks on applicants to ensure they are hiring qualified and trustworthy employees. If you’ve been arrested or convicted of a crime, you may be concerned about what your prospective employer is looking for and what they may find.
While employment background checks are legal in Nevada, some laws limit what information employers obtain and how they can use it to make employment decisions. Continue reading to learn more about employment background checks and your rights.
What Is an Employment Background Check?
Employment background checks are also called employer screenings or employment verifications. It’s a process where an employer investigates a prospective team member’s background or history to gather information. The information obtained varies by employer and is used to confirm the news on your resume and application, verify your identity, and determine if you are the right candidate for the position.
What Generally Shows Up on an Employment Background Check?
The information contained in an employment background check is typically determined by the employer and based on their needs. Nevada background checks include a variety of information, including:
- Identity verification. Information confirming you are who you say you include current and past addresses, immigration records, social security records, birth and marriage certificates, and divorce decrees.
- Education verification. Information related to your educational background to confirm your education and credentials, including dates of attendance, degrees, and professional licenses or certification earned.
- Legal information. Information related to civil and other non-criminal legal matters, including driving/vehicle records, civil court judgments.
- Financial verification. Information related to your finances, including your credit history, property records, and bankruptcy records.
- Past employment verification. Information about your work history to verify your work experience as listed on your resume or application.
- Criminal history. Information related to your criminal record to verify you are qualified and eligible for the position.
What Is Information About My Criminal History Available In an Employment Background Check?
Under Nevada law, an employer may receive a criminal history that includes the following:
- Unsealed past felony convictions.
- Unsealed past gross misdemeanor convictions.
- Unsealed past misdemeanor convictions that have not been sealed.
- Pending arrests.
- Past incarcerations.
- Parole or probation status.
- Sex offender status.
Background checks in Nevada do not include arrests that did not lead to a conviction nor, in most cases, sealed records.
How Does Federal and State Law Protect Me?
To prevent employment discrimination, federal and Nevada state laws limit what can be included in background checks and how that information can be used.
The federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires employers to advise you that they plan to conduct a background check, the contents of that background check, and whether the background check affected their decision to hire you. The FCRA also protects you from employment decisions based on erroneous records by requiring your consent before certain employers run background checks on you. Government and law enforcement agencies, financial institutions, educational institutions, and casinos are typically exempt from this rule.
Nevada’s “Ban the Box” law prohibits employers from asking you about your criminal history on the initial application. Employers are allowed to consider your criminal history only after the final interview or a conditional offer of employment has been made. It also prohibits employers from taking adverse or unfavorable action against you if you do not consent to a background check as a condition of employment. Nevada employers are also prohibited from using information about a person’s sex offender status for any purpose related to work.
However, the employer is allowed to obtain a background check without your consent if that employer:
- It is authorized by state or federal law to obtain background checks.
- Believes in good faith you are involved in illegal activity.
- Believes that the background check is significantly related to the position you are applying for, such as a banker.
How Far Back Do Background Checks Go?
Most information contained in a background check, such as residency and financial history, goes no further than seven years. However, in 2015, Nevada removed the seven-year reporting limitation on convictions of any felonies and misdemeanors, meaning any sentence in your background is reportable.
Can You Pass a Background Check With Warrants?
It depends on the employer and the position. In Nevada, employers must advise you when they plan to conduct a background check that criminal records are not necessarily disqualifying. Employers are also required to consider other factors when an applicant has a criminal history, even if it’s a warrant.
Do Drug Tests Show Up on Background Checks?
Pre-employment drug testing is frequently included in employment background checks and is legal in Nevada. Employers may drug test applicants as long as they apply drug testing rules to all candidates and conduct the test in a manner that protects applicants’ privacy.
But, there are some limitations. Nevada prohibits pre-employment testing for marijuana and testing employees within the first 30 days of employment. Employers are also prohibited from refusing to hire or rescinding an offer to hire a prospective team member because they tested positive for marijuana.
How Can I Prevent Employers From Accessing My Criminal History?
Employers not exempt from obtaining your consent to perform a background check can only obtain your criminal history with your consent.
You can also seal your criminal records. In Nevada, most criminal records can be sealed or made invisible, which will stop prior arrests and convictions from appearing on your criminal record. The process of sealing your criminal records is a time-consuming multi-step process best handled by an experienced criminal defense attorney.
Unique to Nevada, the state Gaming Board has the authority to access sealed criminal records to determine the status of a gaming license or registration and to verify any prior gaming offenses.
How Can You Help?
If you’re looking to seal your criminal record or believe the information in your criminal record is incorrect, then contact the De Castroverde Law Group today. With more than 25 years of criminal defense experience and two former Nevada state prosecutors on our team, De Castroverde Law Group is your choice for knowledgeable and dedicated representation.
We’ve provided high-quality and dependable criminal law and immigration representation to Las Vegas and Summerlin area residents since 2005. Our bi-lingual and experienced team of over 45 legal professionals and support staff will passionately help you to fight for your legal rights and walk you through the process of sealing your criminal record or resolving inaccuracies on your criminal record.
Contact us online or call 702-840-4781.