Background check for government jobs

What Is Included in an Employee Background Check?

Municipalities, including Greensboro, North Carolina , could not officially hire new employees without conducting federal background checks. This impacted police, firefighters, lifeguards and other departments. Consider the federal employee who, struggling to make ends meet without a paycheck, tried to get another job and needed to pass a simple background check. Previous employment could not be verified if their previous employer — the federal government agency — is shut down. Nor could references be checked.

The IRS website to which Consumer Reporting Agencies such as HireRight refer applicants to obtain transcripts for employment verification when they are unable to provide W2 documentation was not functional since the shutdown began in December. While federal employees will be compensated for lost paychecks once the shutdown ends, contractors may not be. And there are approximately four million federal contract workers , twice the number of federal civilian employees.

HR Basics: Background Checks

The exact number of those individuals is difficult to calculate since the government does not maintain records on them and companies are often reluctant to talk about contract work for competitive reasons. As of this writing, there is an agreement to re-open the government for three weeks—until February 15—so budget negotiations can continue.

What is certain is that employers and employees alike will be glad to get back to business as usual. If another shutdown goes into effect, organizations may consider the impact on their hiring and background check processes, and plan accordingly.

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Lewis Lustman is a content marketer who enjoys developing materials that engage, inform, challenge, and hopefully entertain my audience. Lewis is a former journalist for Los Angeles Magazine and the Los Angeles Times, and has worked for a number of leading advertising, marketing, technology, and PR firms over the years. Interested in a topic that he hasn't yet tackled?

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Government Background Check

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Who can check your criminal record Employers can check your criminal record no matter what role you apply for. Print entire guide. Related content Checks employers can make on job applicants Documents you need for a criminal record check.

Background Checks for Legal Government Jobs

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