Employers in Louisiana conduct background checks on applicants so they can ensure they make the right hiring decisions. A comprehensive, accurate, and legally compliant Louisiana background check can help an employer find reliable, safe, and qualified employees.
Conducting pre-employment background checks in Louisiana should be a regular part of your hiring process. Louisiana background checks can help your company to protect its bottom line and facilitate growth and workplace safety.
However, when you conduct background checks in Louisiana for employment, you are required to follow the laws and regulations that govern the process. If you don’t, your company could face fines, penalties, and lawsuits.
At iprospectcheck, we conduct comprehensive, accurate, current, and FCRA-compliant Louisiana background checks for employers located across the state, including New Orleans, Shreveport, Baton Rouge, Lafayette, and more.
Because of our extensive experience with completing pre-employment background checks, we have created this guide for employers to use when they complete employment background checks in Louisiana.
Let’s get started.
Louisiana Employment Background Check Laws: A Complete Overview
Louisiana employers must understand the local, state, and federal laws that govern the types of information consumer reporting agencies can gather and report and how pre-employment background check information can be used by employers to make hiring decisions.
When employers or CRAs do not comply with these laws, they can face fines and potential legal liability.
Some key laws that apply to pre-employment background checks in Louisiana are detailed below.
Federal Employment Background Checks Laws
At the federal level, the two most important laws that govern Louisiana employment background checks include the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. These two laws apply to employers and CRAs in every state.
The FCRA was enacted in 1970 and was designed to protect information about consumers that is gathered and reported by CRAs. This law restricts the types of information CRAs can report and governs how employers can use certain types of information revealed on pre-employment background checks.
CRAs are not allowed to report information about arrests not leading to convictions that are older than seven years. The seven-year lookback period also restricts CRAs from reporting other information that is older than seven years, including information about civil judgments, liens, civil lawsuits, collection accounts, and bankruptcies.
There is a salary cap exception included in the FCRA to the seven-year lookback period. The time limitations do not apply to jobs that pay salaries of at least $75,000. The seven-year lookback period also does not apply to criminal convictions. CRAs can report criminal convictions regardless of when they occurred.
The FCRA does not restrict the reporting of other types of important information, including the employment history, education, or professional credentials of applicants.
Louisiana employers that intend to conduct pre-employment background screenings must provide advance notice to applicants in writing. The applicants must provide express, written consent before a pre-employment background check in Louisiana can be performed.
If negative information is revealed on a pre-employment background check report, employers are required to follow the FCRA’s adverse action process before making a hiring decision based on that information.
Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination based on the protected characteristics of applicants and employees. This law applies to all phases of the employment relationship, including the recruiting, interviewing, and hiring processes. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is the agency that enforces Title VII.
Title VII applies to pre-employment background checks that reveal Louisiana criminal records. Guidance for employers issued by the EEOC advises them to individually assess conviction records as they relate to the jobs for which the companies are hiring before deciding against hiring an applicant based on his or her criminal history information.
Louisiana Employment Background Check Laws
Employers in Louisiana have several restrictions they must follow beyond the provisions of the FCRA and Title VII.
Under La. R.S. 23:897, employers are prohibited from asking applicants to pay for the costs of fingerprints, background checks, drug tests, or medical exams that are required for hiring decisions. Employers that violate this law may be fined $100 or face a jail sentence of up to three months.
Employers are prohibited from asking applicants or employees for their social media or online personal account passwords or usernames under La. R.S. 51:1953. However, they can ask employees for usernames or passwords needed to access employer-provided devices.
Under La. R.S. 42:1701, state agencies cannot ask applicants about criminal history information on the application. They also cannot inquire about criminal history information until after the applicants have been interviewed or conditional job offers have been extended.
Public sector employers in New Orleans may not conduct checks of their applicants’ criminal histories until after they have been interviewed under Policy Memorandum No. 129.
In 2018, the city of New Orleans also passed a ban-the-box ordinance that applies to companies that contract with the city. They are not allowed to ask applicants about their criminal history information on their applications and cannot inquire about this type of information until after an applicant has been interviewed at least once.
Former New Orleans mayor Mitch Landrieu issued Executive Order MJL 17-01 in 2017. Under this order, city employers are prohibited from inquiring about their applicants’ salary history information.
What Shows Up on a Background Check in Louisiana?
Pre-employment background checks in Louisiana can include as much information allowed by the laws, depending on the screening provider’s ability and resources to collect background information on job applicants. At iprospectcheck, we offer a broad variety of employment background check reports, allowing employers to tailor their reports to include the specific types of information they need.
Most employers in Louisiana ask for criminal history information, past employment verification, and education verification, including a check for a high school diploma, degree, or certificates.
Here is what you might see on each of these types of reports.
If a candidate has a criminal history, you will see the criminal case number, charge, whether the charge was a misdemeanor or felony, disposition, disposition date, and sentence.
Employment verification allows you to confirm an applicant’s past employment history. Requesting this type of information allows employers to confirm what their applicants have reported, ensuring they are honest and qualified.
When you request employment verification reports, you will see every employer for which an applicant has worked, his or her employment dates with each employer, and the titles the employee has held. This type of report can help you to avoid negligent hiring lawsuits.
Education and Professional Credentials
Education verification reports allow you to confirm that an applicant has the educational qualifications needed for the job. This type of report will show all of the educational institutions an applicant has attended, his or her attendance dates, and any diplomas, degrees, or certificates he or she has earned.
A professional credentials check will allow you to confirm whether an applicant has the license required to perform certain types of work, helping you to ensure that you hire qualified and trustworthy employees.
How Far Back Does a Background Check Go in Louisiana?
The seven-year lookback period under the FCRA partially controls how far back Louisiana background checks can go. Information about arrests not resulting in convictions, civil lawsuits, civil judgments, liens, collection accounts, and bankruptcies that are older than seven years cannot be reported.
If you are offering jobs paying at least $75,000 per year, the FCRA’s time limitations will not apply.
Conviction information can be reported regardless of age. Other types of information, including employment history, educational history, and professional credentials can also be reported no matter how old the information might be.
How to Get a Background Check in Louisiana
Employers in Louisiana can request criminal history information from the Lousiana State Police by registering online and submitting a LA state police background check request. Employers can also request background checks by submitting written requests and authorization forms to the Bureau of Criminal Identification at the following address:
Bureau of Criminal Identification and Information
P.O. Box 66614, #A-6
Baton Rouge, LA 70896-6614
Licensed healthcare providers are required to conduct pre-employment background checks on unlicensed applicants and licensed ambulance personnel.
Requesting criminal history information from the state will not show conviction information from other jurisdictions. These types of checks will also not include other relevant background information about your applicants’ past employment, educational history, credentials, and others.
Some employers attempt to conduct do-it-yourself background checks by submitting requests to multiple agencies, educational institutions, and past employers. This can be time-consuming and might not provide all the information you need.
The best approach to conducting Lousiana employment background checks is to partner with a reputable, experienced, and FCRA-compliant employment background check provider like iprospectcheck.
Our pre-employment background check reports in Louisiana are up-to-date, reliable, and comprehensive, and we fully comply with all applicable laws. We also offer many other pre-employment checks and clinical services, including drug tests.
How Much Does a Background Check Cost in Louisiana?
If you submit a request for a background check to the Lousiana State Police, you will be required to submit a fee of $26 per report. However, the information will be limited to Lousiana criminal history information and will not include convictions from other states or information about the applicant’s past employment and education.
You might find a website online that promises a free Louisiana background check. You should never rely on these types of sites for pre-employment background checks. These types of sites often return inaccurate and incomplete information that does not comply with the FCRA. If you rely on this type of information, your company could face liability in a lawsuit.
It is best to work with a reputable provider that complies with the FCRA and all relevant laws like iprospectcheck. We offer affordable pricing and return reliable, legally compliant, and comprehensive reports quickly.
You can select from several packages at varying price points with iprospectcheck. If your company will order 50 or more employment background checks per year, you can take advantage of our deep volume discounts. Call us today for a no-obligation, free quote.
How Long Does it Take to Get a Background Check Done on Someone in Louisiana?
How long you will have to wait to receive your pre-employment background check reports will depend on how you conduct them.
If you try to gather information on your own by sending requests to multiple state agencies, employers, and educational institutions, it can take several weeks. For example, the Louisiana State Police says that it can take up to 21 days to process a fingerprint-based background check request.
Partnering with iprospectcheck for your pre-employment background checks is the fastest method for obtaining the information you need to make hiring decisions. When you partner with us, we can return your pre-employment background check reports in as little as a few hours.
iprospectcheck: Your Trusted Partner for Fast, Accurate, Compliant Louisiana Background Checks
In Louisiana, it is crucial for you to conduct FCRA-compliant background checks that are accurate and comprehensive for your applicants. However, completing pre-employment background checks that return the types of information you need will require that you have access to reliable databases and the resources to gather the information quickly.
When you work with iprospectcheck, you can benefit from our experience, resources, and access to up-to-date and reliable databases. We can quickly gather relevant background information, allowing you to make sound hiring decisions.
Our employees undergo in-depth training in the latest methods involved with conducting pre-employment background checks and changes in the relevant laws when they happen. This thorough training facilitates how they gather and analyze critical background information so that they comply with the FCRA and other relevant laws.
We value our clients and strive to make the employment screening process as easy as possible for their applicants. We are USA-based and do not offshore our employment background check services, helping us to protect your confidential information.
Contact iprospectcheck today to learn more about our services and to receive a free consultation.
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.