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State Specific Requirements for Background Checks

Although state-based regulations are required, this does not mean they should be the only checks in place. When the number one priority is to keep your kids safe, it’s important to run a more comprehensive search - not a search to the state’s requirements, but to yours.

There are a few states that have specific requirements that are not covered by Checkr. States/laws we’ll be covering in this article:

Massachusetts

CORI (Criminal Offender Record Information) - Name based search of criminal information on crimes investigated and prosecuted in Massachusetts which is required for organizations working with vulnerable populations.

  • The data collected in this search is specific to the state of Massachusetts only
  • Access is limited to employers with permissible purpose
  • Does not contain all of the records and complete case information housed in Massachusetts courts

Checkr’s search does not include CORI - We recommend running a CORI search in conjunction with a Checkr background check for complete information about prospective coaches, administrators and volunteers.

Customers can request a CORI check here.

Takeaway: Checkr’s background check does not include CORI - Organizations can use Checkr in conjunction with CORI to get a more well rounded report from different resources.

Resources: How does Massachusetts CORI search apply to background checks

Pennsylvania

The Child Protective Services Law - Individuals need to obtain several clearances every 5 years (Act 153 of 2014) and it is required for employees or volunteers who have direct contact with children.

Required and not covered by Checkr:

  • Report of Criminal History from the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP): Access through PATCH
  • Fingerprint-based federal criminal history (from the Pennsylvania State Police or FBI): Access through IDEMI

Takeaway: Checkr does not provide access to the required PA clearance checks.The Pennsylvania requirements only cover state searches - whereas Checkr performs name-based searches across Global watchlists, National, State and Country criminal databases, as well as sex-offender registries, ensuring the most complete and updated information on candidates working with children. You can use Checkr in conjunction with these state requirements to get a well rounded report from different sources.

Florida

The Department of Children and Families - Requires private, nongovernmental entities that organize, operate or coordinate youth athletic teams in Florida (“Independent Sanctioning Authorities”) to conduct annual Level 1 background screenings on any youth athletic team coach, assistant coach or referee who is authorized by an Independent Sanctioning Authority to work 20 or more hours a year whether for compensation or as a volunteer.

Required and not covered by Checkr:

The Level 1 background screening required pursuant to F.S.A. §435.03 is available to the public on Internet sites provided by:

Important Note: Please be aware of disqualifying offenses under F.S.A. §435.04(2) which prohibit persons with certain offenses from working with children: https://www.tsa.gov/disqualifying-offenses-factors

Takeaway: Checkr does not provide the required state level checks required by the state of Florida. The checks required by Florida only access local state records (apart from the national public sex offenders site). Checkr performs name-based searches across Global watchlists, National, State and County criminal databases, as well as sex-offender registries, ensuring the most complete and updated information on candidates working with children.

Fair Credit Reporting Act:

  • Under the FCRA, convictions can appear on a background report regardless of when they occurred. States that limit the scope of conviction reporting to seven years, include: California, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, New Mexico, New York, New Hampshire, and Washington.
  • Under the FCRA, non-convictions are reportable for seven years from the file date and can appear on a background report for seven years.
  • States that entirely prevent non-convictions from being reported are California, Kentucky, New York, and New Mexico.

Takeaway: All forms, policies and procedures on Checkr system comply with the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act.

How Can I Learn More?

Resources: How do background check reporting requirements vary by state

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