There are many reasons why employers in Nebraska typically conduct background checks on job applicants.
Did you know that a Norfolk, Nebraska woman allegedly embezzled almost $90,000 from her employer?
Nebraska background checks help employers mitigate liability risks and ensure that they hire safe, trustworthy, and qualified staff for their open positions.
Based on our experience conducting background checks in Douglas County, Lancaster County, Sarpy County, and more, we’ve written this guide as a resource for employers.
Let’s get started.
4 Important Reasons Employers in Nebraska Conduct Background Checks
1. General Screening for Entry-Level Positions
Most employers in Nebraska conduct pre-employment background screens on all candidates for entry-level positions.
These types of general screens help employers confirm their applicants’ past employment and education and verify that they do not have any potentially disqualifying criminal convictions.
2. Screening for Supervisor Positions
Employers frequently conduct comprehensive background checks on candidates for supervisory or management positions.
This is because these employees typically have a much greater degree of responsibility than those in lower-level positions.
3. Post-Hire Employment Screens
Some companies conduct employment screens at certain intervals on their current employees.
This might be because of industry regulations or to identify disqualifying issues that might arise after an employee has been hired.
4. Specialized Screens for Jobs Providing Services to Vulnerable People
Employers that provide services to children, the elderly, the disabled, and people with mental illnesses conduct specialized screens that are much more thorough than regular employment background checks.
They must do so to protect their clients’ safety.
Nebraska Employment Background Check Laws 2021
Nebraska employers that conduct background checks must be aware of the federal and state laws that govern them. Failing to follow these laws could result in hefty fines, civil penalties, and potential lawsuits.
Federal Laws on Employment Background Checks
Fair Credit Reporting Act
The federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is enforced by the Federal Trade Commission and was enacted to protect the accuracy, privacy, and fairness of consumers’ information that consumer reporting agencies collect and report and that employers use to make hiring decisions.
Employers must provide advance written notice to applicants and employees that they intend to complete background checks and must get their written permission before they can do so.
The FCRA also requires employers to complete the adverse action process before deciding against hiring applicants based on information obtained on background checks.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act is enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and forbids discrimination in the workplace against applicants and employees based on their membership in protected groups. Under this law, employers cannot discriminate based on protected characteristics when choosing which applicants to give background checks.
If an applicant’s background check reveals a criminal conviction, Title VII also applies. According to the EEOC, employers should individually assess a conviction as it relates directly to the job for which an applicant has applied before denying employment based on the criminal record.
Nebraska State Laws on Employment Background Checks
Under Neb. Rev. Stat. § 48-202, public employers cannot ask about criminal history information during the early phases of the hiring process.
They cannot include questions about criminal history on their applications and are not allowed to inquire about it until they have determined that an applicant meets the minimum qualifications for the job.
Workplace Privacy Act
Under Neb. Rev. Stat. § 48-3503, employers cannot ask or require an applicant or employee to provide his or her user name, password, or other social media account information.
Employers are also prohibited from asking applicants or employees to log into their accounts in their presence or asking them to add anyone to the applicant’s or employee’s contact list.
What Shows up on a Background Check for Employment in Nebraska?
What your background check reports in Nebraska might reveal will depend on which reports you request.
Most companies request criminal background checks, employment verifications, education verifications, and license and credentials checks.
Employers that are hiring employees to drive company vehicles will likely request motor vehicle records checks.
Most employers also ask for pre-employment drug screens as a condition of employment.
A pre-employment background check in Nebraska might include the following:
- Misdemeanor/felony criminal convictions
- Pending criminal matters
- Arrests that led to criminal convictions
- Listing on the sex offender registry
- Address history
- Education history
- Listing on the Domestic Terrorist Watch List
What might you see on some of these reports? We’ll take a brief look below.
If you request a criminal background check for an applicant with a criminal conviction, the following types of information will be reported:
- Date of the offense
- Type of the offense
- Level of the offense (misdemeanor or felony)
- Date of the disposition
If you ask for education verification, the following information will be reported for all institutions attended:
- Name and address of each educational institution
- Dates of attendance at each school or university
- Diplomas, degrees, or certificates conferred
Education verification helps you to verify whether an applicant attended the institutions claimed and earned the diplomas, certificates, or degrees reported on the application or resume.
If you ask for employment verification, the following types of information will be reported about each of an applicant’s former jobs:
- Name and location of each past employer
- Dates of employment
- Positions and titles held
How Far Back Can a Background Check Go in Nebraska?
The FCRA controls how far back adverse information can be reported on background checks for employment in Nebraska and used to deny employment to applicants.
Under the FCRA, there is a seven-year restriction for the following information for jobs paying under $75,000 per year:
- Arrests not leading to criminal convictions
- Civil lawsuits
- Civil judgments
The salary-cap exception means that these types of information can be reported for positions paying more than $75,000 per year.
The FCRA’s time restrictions do not apply to conviction records, which can be reported no matter their age. They also do not apply to employment history, education, and other relevant background information.
How do I get a Background Check in Nebraska?
The state of Nebraska offers the Nebraska Background Check Portal. Employers can use this portal to access criminal records, court records, and driving records.
However, the portal expressly states that you cannot receive information about federal offenses, address history, employment history, credit history, or sex offender registry information.
Going through the state will also not allow you to see convictions from other jurisdictions or information about an applicant’s education.
It is a better approach to conduct background checks with a reputable and reliable third-party CRA like iprospectcheck.
We quickly return FCRA-compliant background check reports to our clients in Nebraska, and you can feel confident the information you receive from us is complete, reliable, and accurate.
As an Employer in Nebraska, How Can I Stay Compliant?
You must stay in compliance with the state and federal laws regarding background checks. If you fail to follow the law, you might be fined, penalized, and sued.
To remain compliant, follow the tips below.
1. Avoid Asking About Criminal History During the Early Phase
While the ban-the-box law in Nebraska currently only applies to public employers, an increasing number of states are moving to adopt ban-the-box laws for all employers.
To stay safe, it’s best to avoid asking about criminal history information on your applications or until you have verified that an applicant meets the minimum qualifications for the position.
2. Individually Assess Convictions
If an applicant has a criminal conviction, individually assess it as it relates to the open position.
Avoid not to hire the applicant based on the conviction until you have completed the individual assessment.
3. Send a Pre-Adverse Action Notice
If you do not want to hire an applicant because of the information reported on a background check, you should send a pre-adverse action notice.
In the notice, list the disqualifying criminal conviction and give a copy of the criminal history report.
Tell the applicant the deadline that he or she has to clarify the record, including evidence that the information is inaccurate or of rehabilitation.
4. Send a Final Adverse Action Notice
If you decide against hiring the applicant after completing the adverse action process, you should send a final adverse action notice. Inform the applicant of the rights he or she has under the FCRA.
How Often Should I Run a Background Check in Nebraska?
How frequently you should conduct background checks depends based on the positions you offer and your industry.
For example, transportation companies that hire CDL drivers must conduct annual driving records checks of their drivers under Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulations.
Many companies in the manufacturing industry also conduct ongoing drug screening to maintain safe working environments. Companies that provide services to vulnerable populations also conduct background checks on their current employees at regular intervals.
What Disqualifies You From a Background Check in Nebraska?
Multiple types of adverse information on background check reports can disqualify applicants.
A few of the most common reasons why an applicant might be turned down for employment are described below.
Certain Criminal Convictions
Millions of Americans have criminal records. While some convictions will not disqualify an applicant, a person with certain types of convictions might be denied employment, depending on the type of offense, the position, and industry-specific regulations.
Misrepresentations About Past Employment
Some people fudge information on their applications or resumes about their former jobs. They might do this to hide gaps in employment or to claim more experience than they have.
Employers that ask for employment verification can quickly see these types of misrepresentations. Applicants who lie about their former jobs will likely be turned down for employment.
Misrepresentations About Education
Some applicants lie about the institutions of higher learning they have attended and the degrees that they have earned.
Employers that request education verification can see when applicants have lied about their education and will likely deny them employment on that basis.
Problematic Driving Record
People who apply for jobs that require regular driving will likely have their driving records checked.
If they have major traffic violations or numerous traffic offenses, they might be denied employment because of potential liability and an inability of the employer to insure them.
Failed Pre-Employment Drug Tests
Many Nebraska employers extend job offers conditioned on pre-employment drug tests. Applicants who fail pre-employment drug tests will likely have their job offers withdrawn.
How Much is a Background Check in Nebraska?
If you order a background check report through the state, you will have to submit a fee of $15.50 for each report.
However, you will not receive information about out-of-state convictions, federal convictions, employment history, education history, driving records, sex offender registry information, and other relevant background information.
If you look online, you might see vendors that promise free background check reports. You should not use these vendors. They frequently do not comply with the FCRA and often return outdated, inaccurate, and unreliable information. Relying on these vendors can result in lawsuits from applicants.
It is best to partner with a reliable provider like iprospectcheck. We have extensive resources and use advanced research methods to quickly return reliable, accurate, current, and legally compliant background check reports at an affordable price.
We have a broad variety of different types of background check reports, allowing you to select only the specific information you want without having to pay for unnecessary information.
If your company will need to order 50 or more reports in a year, you can take advantage of our steep volume discounts. Call us today for a free, no-obligation quote.
How Long Does a Background Check Take in Nebraska?
How long it takes to conduct a background check depends on the method you choose. If you try a do-it-yourself approach to conducting a background check by sending multiple requests to different agencies, schools, and past employers, you can anticipate that the process will take a few weeks.
The need to make fast hiring decisions is another reason to consider working with iprospectcheck. Our access to reliable databases and cutting-edge research techniques allow us to return background check reports to our clients in as little as a few hours.
iprospectcheck: Your Trusted Partner for Fast, Accurate, Compliant Nebraska Background Checks
As an employer in Nebraska, you should treat pre-employment background checks as a critical part of the hiring process. By conducting background checks, you can mitigate liability risks and protect your customers, employees, and business operations.
At iprospectcheck, our professional employees undergo extensive training and have the resources and skills required to return FCRA-compliant, up-to-date, and accurate background check reports quickly.
Contact us today to learn more about the employment background check services we provide and to ask for a free quote: (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.