Illinois Background Checks for Employment

Health Street makes background checks in Illinois easy with a complete array of comprehensive, precise and detailed employment background screenings. Our Illinois background checks start with simple, fast criminal database checks and extend to a full view of a person’s history by looking at local and national records, educational records, past jobs and more. Illinois background checks ensure you, your workforce, finances and property are protected from an employee who lies on his or her job application or worse.

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What Illinois Background Checks can I order through Health Street?

Why Health Street For Illinois Background Checks?

Health Street combines industry knowledge, a committed approach to accuracy and fairness and affordability in all levels of Illinois background checks. Knowing the legal requirements of background checks in Illinois keeps you and your business from stumbling into legal problems. Conducting thorough, factual background screens ensures peace-of-mind that your new hires are qualified and law-abiding.

Due diligence is critical to ensure your background checks in Illinois are done right. Background check companies, known as Credit Reporting Agencies or CRAs, must stay abreast with the latest employment laws to know what they can and cannot do in background screens in Illinois. Companies that use poorly qualified CRAs who perform simple database searches of public records and fail to analyze the criminal history data can pay a severe penalty.

Unqualified background check companies can expose you in the following ways::

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Not uncovering a past criminal record.
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Revealing excess information that cannot, by Illinois employment law, be factored into the hiring process.

In either case, you could be held legally liable for the CRA’s mistake. Go with a CRA with a proven track record, commitment to transparent compliance with background check laws in Illinois and a thorough approach to scrubbing the data and reporting accurate background checks. Let Health Street’s expertise conduct your background checks in Illinois so you’ll know that your candidates have been fully and properly vetted before hiring.

Credit Check Rules in Illinois

The Employee Credit Privacy Act (ECPA) was passed in 2011. It prohibits employers from ordering an applicant’s or employee’s credit report or discriminating against an applicant or employee based on his or her credit history or credit report unless the job meets certain criteria. The insurance and financial industries are exempt from this rule, as are some government positions.

Other jobs that may be exempt include managerial positions and jobs that give an individual access to confidential information, financial information, trade secrets, or unsupervised access to more than $2,500 in cash or marketable assets. The courts have noted that they will apply these factors narrowly so as to discourage the use of credit checks for positions that don’t clearly fall within the exempted categories.

In addition, employers who conduct these checks must follow a strict set of rules laid out under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). This includes clearly disclosing in writing that the check will be performed and getting written authorization from the employee or candidate. If the employer fails to follow the rules, the employee or candidate can file a private lawsuit against them.

“Ban the Box” Laws

The Illinois Job Opportunities for Qualified Applicants Act, which went into effect in 2015, prohibits employers from inquiring about or considering a candidate’s criminal background until after they’ve been notified of a pending interview or given a conditional offer for employment. The intention is to ensure that all candidates get an equal chance at obtaining an interview.

Some employers are exempt from this rule. This includes:

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Employers that are required under state or federal law to exclude any applicant who has a criminal history
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Positions that require a fidelity bond if a candidate’s criminal history would impede them from getting one
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Positions that require licensing under the Emergency Medical Services Systems Act

Employers that do criminal background checks must also treat all employees and applicants equally to avoid being accused of employment discrimination. This would occur, for example, if a minority was denied employment based on a criminal history but a white applicant with a similar history was hired.

Special Rules for Healthcare Workers

On July 31, 2019, the Health Care Worker Background Check Act was modified to allow some applicants with a criminal record to work in the healthcare industry in the state of Illinois. The original act requires long-term care facilities and other healthcare employers to perform a fingerprint-based criminal background check and refuse to hire anyone who has a disqualifying offense that has not been waived.

Previously, individuals weren’t able to request their own background checks as this could only be done by a potential employer after a conditional job offer was extended. Under the new rules, applicants can initiate their own background check. If a disqualifying offense comes up, they can begin the process of obtaining a waiver before obtaining a job offer. This improves transparency between the employer and the applicant, avoids unnecessary delays, and creates new job opportunities for many individuals who would previously have been excluded from these types of positions.

Citations

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Parks, Lauryn E. “Pre-employment screening in Illinois. Illinois State Bar Association, https://www.isba.org/sections/laboremploymentlaw/newsletter/2017/02/preemploymentscreeninginillinois
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Fishman, F. Scott. “Illinois’ Job Opportunities for Qualified
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Applicants Act: Get Ready to Adjust Your Hiring Activities.” Freeborn, https://www.freeborn.com/sites/default/files/freeborn_client_alert_illinois_job_opportunities_for_qualified_applicants_act_final.pdf
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“Can They Check My Credit Report When I Apply For A Job?” Illinois Legal Aid Online, https://www.illinoislegalaid.org/legal-information/can-they-check-my-credit-report-when-i-apply-job#:~:text=Illinois%20passed%20such%20a%20law,Credit%20Privacy%20Act%20(ECPA)
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Smith, Jacalyn. “Illinois law provides individuals with arrest and conviction records employment opportunities within the health care industry.” Nixon Peabody, https://www.nixonpeabody.com/en/ideas/articles/2019/08/19/illinois-law-allows-workers-with-convictions-to-work-in-health-care#:~:text=In%20relation%20to%20health%20care,has%20not%20had%20a%20previous