Kansas companies that recruit and hire employees should consider running employment background checks on job candidates.
Did you know that Governor Kelly failed to conduct pre-employment background checks in Kansas on new hires in the Kansas Department of Labor for processing unemployment claims, resulting in a substantial uptick of fraudulent claims?
Information learned from a thorough, accurate, and compliant background check can help businesses to be more confident in their hiring decisions. Conducting a background check in Kansas on every prospective employee can also help to reduce the risk of negligent hiring liability.
Based on our extensive experience conducting background checks for employers in Kansas City, Olathe, Topeka, Wichita, Lawrence, and more, we have written this guide on conducting legally compliant, comprehensive, and accurate employment background checks.
Read more below.
4 Important Reasons Employers in Kansas Conduct Background Checks
Employers in Kansas conduct pre-employment background checks for several purposes.
Four of the most common reasons are described below.
1. General Employment Screening for Entry-Level Positions
Many employers in Kansas conduct employment screens as a routine part of their hiring and onboarding processes.
Conducting a background check in Kansas can help an employer to verify the information people have reported on their applications and screen out people who have criminal convictions that directly relate to the jobs for which they are hiring.
2. Managerial and Supervisory Position Pre-Employment Checks
At most companies, managers and supervisors have greater access to their employer’s confidential business information and their accounts while also having greater responsibilities than entry-level staffers.
Because of these factors, pre-employment background checks for supervisory position applicants might involve more extensive information than companies might request for lower-level applicants.
3. Ongoing Employment Checks
In some industries, employers are required to check their employees’ backgrounds on an ongoing basis. The most common example is the transportation industry.
Under regulations from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, trucking companies must check their drivers’ records after any accident and at least annually.
4. Pre-Employment Screens for People Working With Vulnerable Populations
People who work in the caring professions are required to undergo comprehensive pre-employment background checks before they can be hired as employees or volunteers.
This includes people who are employed in positions to help people with mental illnesses, people with physical or mental disabilities, children, and the elderly.
Laws requiring extensive background checks for people who work in the caring professions are designed to protect the safety of vulnerable patients and clients.
Kansas Background Check Laws 2021
Employers that conduct pre-employment background checks in Kansas are required to strictly adhere to the relevant federal and state laws. Failing to do so can subject you to fines and legal liability.
Here are some of the most important laws.
Federal Laws on Employment Background Checks
Fair Credit Reporting Act
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) was enacted in 1970 and is meant to ensure the privacy and accuracy of consumer records that are gathered, held, and reported by consumer reporting agencies (CRAs), including companies that conduct employment background checks. This law also applies to how employers gather, use, and share the information they receive from background checks.
Before an employer can conduct a background check, it must first notify the applicant of its intent to do so and get his or her signed authorization.
If an employer receives negative information on a pre-employment background check and decides not to hire the applicant on that basis, the employer must go through the adverse action process before making a final adverse employment decision.
At iprospectcheck, we provide fully FCRA-compliant employment background checks to employers.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
In 1964, former president Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act into law. Title VII of this sweeping anti-discrimination law prohibits workplace discrimination on the basis of an applicant’s or employee’s protected characteristics.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is the federal agency that enforces Title VII. Under guidance from the EEOC, arrest and conviction records revealed on a pre-employment background check must be individually assessed as they directly relate to the jobs for which the applicants have applied.
Kansas State Laws on Employment Background Checks
There are several state laws that Kansas employers must also follow and are described below.
Limitation on Reporting Criminal Conviction Records
Under K.S.A. §50-704, consumer reporting agencies cannot report arrests or conviction records that are older than seven years on a pre-employment background check for jobs paying less than $20,000.
However, if a job pays $20,000 per year or more, convictions from more than seven years ago can be reported.
Applicants Cannot Be Charged for Pre-Employment Background Checks
Under K.S.A. §22-4710, employers are required to pay for pre-employment background checks they conduct on applicants. Employers may not require applicants to pay for any portion of a pre-employment background check.
Ban-the-Box Law for Executive Branch Employees
Former Governor Colyer signed Executive Order 18-12 in 2018. Under this order, agencies in the state’s executive branch cannot ask about criminal history information on their applications and may not inquire about criminal records until later in the hiring process.
Information on Criminal History Report Must Be Relevant to the Position
Under K.S.A. §22-4710(f), employers who discover criminal records on pre-employment background checks can only deny employment when the conviction reasonably relates to the position or the safety of the company’s clients and employees.
Expunged Convictions Not Reported
Under K.S.A. §21-6614, criminal convictions and arrests that have been expunged may not be reported. Applicants who have received expungements can answer no when they are asked if they have any prior arrests or criminal convictions unless they are applying for specific jobs enumerated in the statute.
What Shows up on a Background Check for Employment in Kansas?
The information that an employer might see on a Kansas employment background check will vary, depending on the types of reports requested. Most employers in Kansas request criminal history checks, employment verification, education verification, and information about licenses and credentials.
Employers that hire employees who will have to drive as a regular part of their jobs frequently request motor vehicle record checks. Many employers also request pre-employment drug tests as a routine part of the hiring process.
Some employers also request driving records for applicants who will drive as a part of their jobs. Many also request pre-employment drug screens.
In general, pre-employment background checks will contain information about the following things:
- Non-expunged felony or misdemeanor convictions
- Pending criminal matters
- Arrests that resulted in convictions
- Employment history
- Education history
- Sex offender registry status
- Address history
- Appearance on the Domestic Terrorist Watch List
Because of Kansas’s restrictions on the reporting of criminal conviction information, criminal convictions will not be reported when they are older than seven years for positions paying less than $20,000.
Let’s take a look at what you might see on a few of these reports.
A criminal history report for an applicant with a non-expunged criminal record will show the following information:
- Offense date
- Offense type
- Offense severity (felony or misdemeanor)
- Disposition date
Will a DUI From Kansas Show up on a Background Check for Employment?
Since a DUI is a criminal conviction, it will show up on a Kansas background check for employment. However, if the position pays less than $20,000 per year, a DUI will not be reported if it is older than seven years.
How Long Does a Felony Stay on a Background Check in Kansas?
For positions paying less than $20,000 per year, a felony will remain on a Kansas background check for seven years. For positions paying more than $20,000 per year, a felony conviction can be reported regardless of age. However, Kansas does allow people to petition for expungement of certain low-level felonies. If a felony conviction is expunged, it will not be reported.
Employers request education verification to confirm that their applicants have received the degrees they have claimed and have attended the institutions they have reported. Requesting this type of report can allow you to verify an applicant is honest and qualified.
An education verification report will reveal the following information:
- Every school attended
- Dates of attendance at each school
- Degrees, certificates, or diplomas conferred
Employment verification helps employers confirm the claims applicants have made on their applications or resumes about their past employment. An employment verification report will include the following information:
- Name of each past employer
- Dates of employment at each past employer
- Positions and titles held at each former job
How Far Back Does a Background Check Go in Kansas?
The FCRA and Kansas’s restrictions govern how far back pre-employment background checks can go. Under the FCRA, there seven-year restriction for reporting the following types of information for jobs paying under $75,000 per year:
- Arrests not resulting in convictions
- Civil lawsuits
- Civil judgments
Under Kansas law, positions paying less than $20,000 per year will not receive information about criminal convictions older than seven years. However, most jobs pay at least $20,000 per year and will receive conviction information.
The FCRA’s salary cap exception of $75,000 per year means that companies that offer jobs paying a higher salary can receive information the FCRA would otherwise restrict that is older than seven years.
The lookback period of the FCRA also does not apply to criminal convictions, which can be reported no matter how old they are as long as they are non-expunged and are for jobs paying at least $20,000 per year in Kansas. Employment history, education history, and credentials information can also be reported no matter how old the information might be.
Where Can I Get a Background Check in Kansas?
You can request a criminal record check from the Kansas Bureau of Investigation on its website. Employers in the caring professions can also request background checks through the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services.
However, requesting criminal history information from the state may not show all of an individual’s criminal records. For example, the KBI states that not all of the conviction records in the state have been automated, meaning that they might not be accessible through the automated background check process.
State criminal records checks also won’t show convictions in other jurisdictions or provide other crucial types of background information, including employment or education history.
A better option is to rely on a reputable pre-employment background check provider like iprospectcheck. We conduct comprehensive, current, accurate, and fully FCRA-compliant background checks for employers across Kansas.
As a Kansas Employer, How Can I Stay Compliant?
Complying with the laws governing background checks is important for reducing your risks of legal liability, penalties, and fines.
To remain compliant, follow the tips below.
1. Individually Assess Convictions
For any criminal conviction revealed on a pre-employment background check, make sure that you individually assess it as it directly relates to your open position. Do not make a negative hiring decision unless the conviction reasonably relates to the position or the safety of your clients and workplace.
2. Send a Pre-Adverse Action Notice
If you decide not to hire an applicant based on a criminal record reported on a background check, you must send a pre-adverse action notice to him or her.
In the notice, include the conviction at issue and provide the applicant with a copy of the criminal history report. Inform the applicant about the deadline to clarify the information, including by submitting evidence or rehabilitation or that the record is inaccurate.
3. Send a Final Adverse Action Notice
If you still decide not to hire an applicant after completing the adverse action process, you are required to send him or her a final adverse action notice. Make sure to inform the applicant about his or her rights under the FCRA.
What Disqualifies You on a Background Check in Kansas?
People fail pre-employment background checks for several reasons. Here are a few of the things that might disqualify an applicant on a pre-employment background check in Kansas.
Disqualifying Criminal Conviction
Millions of Americans have criminal records. However, simply having a criminal conviction does not necessarily mean that an applicant will be turned down for a job. Instead, an applicant will likely be denied employment when a conviction specifically relates to the position for which he or she has applied or when it disqualifies him or her from working within specific industries.
Lying About Past Employment
Some people fudge their past employment dates to try to hide gaps in employment or lie about holding positions with greater responsibility than they actually had. When an employer requests employment verification, an applicant who lies will likely be turned down for the job.
Lying About Educational Attainment
Like employment history, many people lie on their resumes about their educational attainment. Employers that request education verification can quickly see when an applicant has falsified his or her educational record and will likely reject him or her.
Problematic Driving Record
Companies that require employees to drive as a regular duty of their jobs frequently request motor vehicle record checks. If an applicant has too many traffic violations on his or her driving record, the employer might have no other choice but to deny him or her employment because of liability and insurability issues.
Failed Pre-Employment Drug Test
Pre-employment drug tests are requested by employers across Kansas. If an applicant returns positive results for different illegal drugs on this type of pre-employment screen, the employer can deny him or her employment.
How Much Does a Background Check Cost in Kansas?
A KBI offender search costs $20 per report. However, it will not reveal information about out-of-state convictions or provide information about an applicant’s employment history, educational history, and other critical information.
If you search online, you might find a website promising to conduct a free background check in Kansas. You should rely on this type of information at your own risk. These types of providers frequently return unreliable reports with outdated information and do not comply with the relevant background check laws. Using these sources can expose you to liability.
The best approach is to work with a reliable provider like iprospectcheck. We have extensive access to reliable, up-to-date databases and leverage cutting-edge research skills to quickly return accurate, FCRA-compliant, and comprehensive background checks to employers.
We allow employers to choose the specific types of reports they want so they won’t have to pay for unnecessary information.
If you anticipate ordering more than 50 reports per year, you can benefit from our volume discounts. Contact iprospectcheck for a free, no-obligation quote.
How Long Does a Background Check Take in Kansas?
How long a background check might take in Kansas will depend on how you conduct it. If you submit a request to the KBI for a Kansas criminal background check, the KBI states the automated report will be ready within one to two business days. However, some criminal record information has not been entered into the automated system, necessitating you to check with other agencies, institutions, and former employers.
Trying to contact multiple former employers, educational institutions, and state agencies can take a long time. The process of compiling a comprehensive picture of an applicant’s background using a do-it-yourself approach could take several weeks.
When you instead work with iprospectcheck, you can receive your background check reports much faster. We are able to return comprehensive reports in as little as a few hours.
iprospectcheck: Your Trusted Partner for Fast, Accurate, Compliant Kansas Background Checks
Kansas employers should conduct pre-employment background checks on every applicant to protect their companies from liability and to maintain a safe working environment.
At iprospectcheck, we have the knowledge, training, and resources needed to return FCRA-compliant, accurate, and comprehensive background check reports for employers throughout Kansas.
To request a free quote and learn more about the services we provide, contact iprospectcheck today.
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.