When hiring new employees, certain categories of positions require fingerprinting as part of the background check process. These positions often involve working with children, handling financial matters, volunteering, or employment within government or criminal justice agencies. To ensure the suitability of candidates, fingerprints are submitted to authorities such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) or the Department of Justice, where they are compared against criminal records databases for identification. While the specific requirements vary by state, many now facilitate electronic fingerprint submissions through a method known as “Livescan.”

Fingerprinting as a Condition of Employment

Employers might have the authority to request fingerprinting as a condition of employment, especially for roles mandated by federal or state law. Human resources managers play a crucial role in guiding potential employees on where and how to obtain their fingerprints.

Fingerprinting Authorization

Securing consent for pre-employment fingerprinting is a vital step in the process. A consent form empowers investigators or designated representatives to access the job applicant’s criminal history record information. The form confirms that the applicant understands their fingerprints may be shared with federal, state, or local authorities in relation to their job application. The consent document might include the job applicant’s name, Social Security number, address, signature, and date.

The Fingerprinting Process

The fingerprinting procedure for a new job should ideally occur on or before the employee’s first day of work. Applicants are required to bring a valid state or federal photo identification card with them when undergoing fingerprinting. Failure to produce acceptable identification may result in the applicant’s processing being halted. Once the criminal history check reveals that the candidate has no previous criminal records, the employer will receive notification of clearance for that specific aspect of the background check. Employers should exercise caution when conducting their own checks, as information available on web-based networks may not always be accurate or up-to-date.

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