In Alaska, businesses rely on pre-employment background checks to help them find trustworthy and qualified employees. The people you hire have the power to make or break your business and its reputation.
However, it is critical that any Alaska background checks you conduct return accurate and up-to-date information that complies with the laws. If you rely on inaccurate information or fail to comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act, you can place your business at risk for lawsuits and penalties.
Complying with the relevant laws governing background checks in Alaska requires you to know the applicable laws and track the changes as they happen. Extensive access to various resources will also be necessary so that you can gather all of the various types of background information your company requires.
At iprospectcheck, we have access to a broad variety of resources and keep current with all of the laws that apply to Alaska pre-employment background checks. We return FCRA-compliant, accurate pre-employment background check reports and have completed background checks for employers throughout Alaska, including in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Juneau, Sitka, and others.
This guide is meant to serve as a resource for employers in Alaska so that you can understand why it is important to conduct accurate, comprehensive, and fully FCRA-compliant Alaska employment background checks during your company’s hiring process.
Let’s dive in.
Alaska Employment Background Check Laws: A Complete Overview
Employers and consumer reporting agencies in Alaska must comply with the laws governing employment background checks. Below are a few of the most important laws you should know about.
Federal Laws on Employment Background Checks
CRAs and employers in Alaska are required to follow the Fair Credit Reporting Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 during the hiring and onboarding process.
Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) was passed in 1970 and was designed to protect the privacy of consumer information collected by CRAs. There are numerous regulations under the FCRA that apply to the types of information that can be gathered by CRAs and used by employers on employment background checks.
The FCRA applies to CRAs and employers in every state, including Alaska. Under the FCRA, employers may not report information about arrests that did not result in convictions that are seven or more years old. Other types of information that cannot be reported when it is more than seven years old include liens, civil lawsuits, bankruptcies, and collections.
There is a salary cap that applies to these restrictions. If the positions you offer pay $75,000 or more, the information can be reported. Information about criminal convictions can be reported regardless of age and the offered salary.
Employers in Alaska must notify applicants in advance in writing before they can conduct pre-employment background checks. They must also secure the written consent of each applicant before conducting a background check.
If an Alaska background check reveals adverse information, you are required to follow the FCRA’s adverse action procedure before you make a decision against hiring an applicant.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 is the most important federal law prohibiting discrimination. In Title VII, employers are forbidden from discriminating against applicants and employees based on their protected characteristics. This law is enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which also promulgates regulations under the Act.
Guidance has been issued by the EEOC to employers that receive background check reports containing criminal history information. If a criminal history is revealed, you are required to individually assess the conviction in relation to the job for which you are hiring before deciding against hiring the applicant based on that information.
Alaska State Laws on Employment Background Checks
Alaska does not have any state laws governing pre-employment background checks. However, all employers are required to comply with the FCRA and Title VII.
What Shows Up on a State of Alaska Background Check?
The details included in an Alaska pre-employment background check will differ, depending on which types of reports you request. At iprospectcheck, we conduct many different types of employment background checks for clients, allowing you to tailor your Alaska background checks to meet your specific needs.
Most employers ask for information about their applicants’ criminal histories, past employment, and education verification. Below is a brief description of what you might see on each of these types of reports.
If an employment background check report includes criminal history information, you will see the following information about each offense:
- Criminal case number
- Arrest date
- Charge or charges
- Disposition date
- Severity of the charge (felony or misdemeanor)
- Sentence information
Some applicants fudge dates of employment or positions held on their applications and resumes. When you request employment verification on your pre-employment background checks in Alaska, you can make certain that an applicant can be trusted and has the experience for the job.
An employment verification report will include the following information for each former employer:
- The name of every employer for which the applicant worked
- Employment dates with each employer
- Job titles and positions held
Verifying an applicant’s employment history information helps to reduce the risks of hiring unqualified, untrustworthy employees who could expose your company to potential negligent hiring lawsuits.
Verifying the educational information reported by your applicants allows you to ensure they have the degrees or certificates your jobs require.
When you ask for an education verification report as a part of your employment background check in Alaska, you will see the following information:
- Every school, college, or university attended
- Attendance dates at each school
- Diplomas, certificates, or degrees the applicant earned
Education verification allows you to confirm that your applicants are honest and qualified for the positions they have applied for.
How Far Back Does a Background Check Go in Alaska?
Pre-employment Alaska background checks must adhere to the seven-year lookback period under the FCRA. You will not see information about arrests not resulting in convictions that are seven or more years old.
Your pre-employment background checks will also not show civil judgments, liens, bankruptcies, or collections that are older than seven years.
However, these time limitations do not apply to jobs paying $75,000 or more. The restrictions also do not apply to misdemeanor or felony convictions, which can be reported no matter their age.
The FCRA’s time limitations do not cover other relevant background information, including information about a candidate’s credentials, past employment, or education.
How to Get a Background Check in Alaska
If you are wondering how to check someone’s background record in Alaska, there are a couple of ways to obtain criminal history information.
Under AS 12.62.60, anyone can request the criminal history information of another person in the state. Employers can submit requests for name searches or fingerprint-based checks to the Alaska Department of Public Safety.
Employers that are licensed or certified by the Department of Health and Social Services can submit pre-employment background check requests to the Division of Health Care Services.
Licensed healthcare facilities may also request reports from DHSS to check whether their applicants are considered not eligible.
While these types of reports might provide some criminal history information, they will not include other relevant information about an applicant’s educational or employment history. The provided information might also not include criminal history information from other jurisdictions.
The better approach is to work with a reputable, FCRA-compliant employment background check provider like iprospectcheck.
Our pre-employment background checks are comprehensive, accurate, current, and FCRA-compliant. We also offer a range of clinical services for employment, including pre-employment drug testing.
How Much Does a Background Check Cost in Alaska?
If you order a background report from the Department of Public Safety, you will have to pay a fee of $20 for a name-based search or $35 for a fingerprint search. However, this report will not include all of the important information to consider about your applicants.
Some employers might try to use a free background check provider they find online. This is very risky since the information might be wrong, outdated, and not FCRA-compliant. Relying on a free service could expose you to lawsuits from applicants.
The best approach is to partner with an FCRA-compliant employment background check provider like iprospectcheck. We offer affordable prices and return comprehensive and accurate reports that comply with the relevant laws quickly.
You can tailor your employment background check reports to meet your specific needs. We also offer deep discounts to companies that order 50 or more employment background check reports per year. Call us today to ask for a free quote.
How Long Does an Alaska Background Check Take?
How long it might take for you to receive a background check report in Alaska will depend on how you conduct your checks. If you go through the state, it could take a few weeks.
If you try to dig up the information on your own, it could also take a long time to obtain a complete report.
The time it can take to get a full report is another good reason to partner with iprospectcheck. We return comprehensive Alaska pre-employment background check reports quickly. With us, you might receive your reports within a few hours up to two days.
iprospectcheck: Your Trusted Partner for Fast, Accurate, Compliant Alaska Background Checks
To conduct an accurate, FCRA-compliant, and comprehensive employment background check in Alaska, you will need to have access to multiple resources and a strong knowledge of the relevant laws.
At iprospectcheck, we track any changes in the laws and regulations as they happen to ensure that we follow all of the requirements. We also have extensive access to quality databases with accurate and current information. Our staff members undergo extensive training so that they understand how to gather critical screening information.
We are based in the U.S. and never offshore our services, helping us to protect the privacy and security of our clients’ sensitive data. We also prioritize customer service and are prepared to answer any questions that you might have.
Contact iprospectcheck today for a free, no-obligation consultation by calling us at 888-808-9997
DISCLAIMER: The resources provided here are for educational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. Consult your counsel if you have legal questions related to your specific practices and compliance with applicable laws.