This document outlines the processes Checkr uses to process records after they have been returned from court sources. Checkr performs post-processing according to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and comparable state laws in order to ensure reporting accuracy and compliance.
Checkr provides several types of post-processing, including:
Identity-based post-processing ensures that only records bearing on the candidate are included in the background check report. For comprehensiveness purposes, Checkr furnishers initially employ overinclusive search methodologies with higher levels of tolerance for potential matches (such as name spelling variations, or partial identifier matches). After initially casting a wide net on the search, Checkr’s identity-based post-processing serves as a crucial step for background check accuracy. Checkr furnishers are instructed to return all available identifiers associated with a record. Based on the identifiers returned, Checkr determines whether the identifiers sufficiently match the candidate’s personally identifiable information (PII). Records determined to be not associated with the candidate are excluded from the final report.
The most common identifiers evaluated during identity-based post-processing are:
- Name (including aliases)
- Date of Birth
- Social Security Number
- Driver License
Based on the presence and calculated similarity of the above identifiers, as well as the demographic statistics of the relevant geographic location, Checkr computes probabilistic scoring that informs the inclusion criteria of a given record.
Additionally, records without PII sufficient to establish matching confidence scores are sent to Quality Assurance for additional review and research.
To ensure background check reports are compiled in compliance with Consumer Reporting Agency (CRA) requirements, Checkr follows all federal and state-specific rules on reportability. These rules take into consideration factors such as the age of the record, the charge type (criminal vs. non-criminal), disposition (convictions vs. non-convictions), and other exemptions (listed below). Based on the following information, Checkr makes a determination regarding a record’s reportability in a specific jurisdiction.
Age of record
As a CRA, Checkr complies with FCRA and comparable state-specific laws. These laws determine whether a given record can be reported based on the record’s age, as well as how the record’s age is calculated. For example, the age of a conviction is calculated based on the most recent case activity date available, whereas the age of non-conviction records is calculated using the filing date.
Record reportability is also dependent on the nature of the offense. Specifically, non-criminal information (such as petty offenses and civil infractions) are only reportable for 7 years. As a result, non-criminal records older than 7 years are excluded from the background check report.
Dispositions may be generally classified as convictions and non-convictions. The FCRA and state laws govern the reportability of these two disposition types.
Convictions: Under the FCRA, convictions can appear on a background report regardless of when they occurred. However, some states have limited the scope of conviction reporting to seven years, including California, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, New Mexico, New York, New Hampshire, and Washington.
Non-conviction: A "non-conviction" includes arrests, dismissed cases, not-guilty verdicts, alternative adjudications (programs that result in dismissed charges if the defendant completes certain conditions), and “nolle prosequi” (formal abandonment of prosecution).
Under the FCRA, non-convictions are reportable for seven years from the filing date. For most states, non-convictions are therefore reported for 7 years. However, four states (California, Kentucky, New York, and New Mexico) prohibit the reporting of non-convictions. In these states, and absent some exemption, there will be no reporting of non-convictions.
To determine which jurisdiction’s reporting rules to apply to the report, Checkr evaluates the following pieces of information:
- Report’s location
- Candidate’s work location (The state for the candidate's most recent location.)
- Candidate’s postal code
- Account’s default compliance state
Federal and state-specific exemptions to the aforementioned reporting rules include salary exemption as well as Transportation Network Company (TNC) exemption where applicable. Such exemptions will extend the reporting period beyond the standard scope.
To comply with the FCRA and to avoid misleading or duplicate reporting, Checkr performs record deduplication. Duplicate records that are excluded from the background check reports generally fall into two categories:
- Transferred cases: When a case is shown to be transferred to another court jurisdiction, Checkr reports only the information from the court to which the case was transferred. This ensures that the reported information is the most up-to-date case information for the specific record.
- Duplicate cases: When a case is determined to be a duplicate of another case, Checkr displays only one instance of the case on the report.