Idaho Background Check General Requirements

As in most states, in Idaho, it is customary for employers and licensing agencies to use third parties to conduct background checks on newly hired employees prior to either such employees’ start date or prior to issuing them professional licenses or the like. In some cases, conducting a background check is a necessary step, such as one might expect prior to being issued a firearm (or license therewith).

By law, the State of Idaho closely regulates the release of information that might be contained in a police background check report, but some criminal data is nevertheless widely available to the general public. A background check, especially a criminal history report, may reveal any past court cases/matters or applicable convictions. Other information provided by a background check may include any names or aliases, driving record, credit history, and financial reports.

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Background check reports are subject to numerous limitations and requirements and the strict scrutiny of the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and applicable state laws. These laws typically stipulate that the employee must be notified and give prior written permission for a background check to be conducted, and must receive a copy of the resulting report, should the employer choose to rescind an offer of employment or take other disciplinary action. In Idaho, employers must comply with the Fair Employment Practices Act, which prevents discrimination based on race, creed, color, national origin, or gender in hiring practices, but there is no state law prohibiting the use of arrest and/or conviction records in employment decisions. However, the Idaho Human Rights Commission (IHRC) states that such action may be a violation of the Fair Employment Practices Act for an employer to inquire about an arrest or conviction, or even deny employment to an individual based on their criminal record if the offenses are not closely job-related.

A background check may be required in other instances: they are often part of a renter’s application process, caregiver applications, applying for a professional license, and even adopting a child, for example. These uses are also strictly circumscribed by FCRA and only certain parties are permitted to conduct such background checks in such scenarios.

Standard background checks in Idaho may be ordered online, whereas the state’s current laws require that criminal history checks be facilitated by applying with the state BCI (Bureau of Criminal Identification) in person or by mail. Payment may be required to access this information. Some information may be available through background check websites based on the use of a name. For employers looking to order a background check report, some additional information other than a name may be necessary, such as the date of birth of the individual and their Social Security Number.

If a party is an employer, FCRA may be the most applicable set of strict limitations governing the use of background checks,— but bear in mind that laws are always changing, as lawmakers in such states pass and adopt local laws that mimic or even surpass FCRA in complexity and specific burdens. For the most up to date information, it is always advisable to seek legal counsel.

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