Background Checks and Drug Testing / Medical Screening:
Welcome to the A-Check background check and drug screening Employer Resources Page. Our goal is to provide a positive and professional screening experience for both you and your applicants. Information in this page is general in nature. For detailed A-Check Direct help, login to your account and click Help on the top right of your screen.
A-Check provides employers with pre and post-employment background check services, drug screening services and assessments. Our company conducts more than 2 million individual employment screening requests each year nationwide and around the world, with less than .018 percent resulting in a re-investigation as a result of a consumer dispute.
If you are an applicant here to dispute an element in your background check (also called a Consumer Report), please visit the A-Check Applicant Resources Page.
Frequently Asked Employer Questions: Background Checks
Notice: Information contained in this page is of a general informational nature and nothing herein, or on this website, should be construed as legal advice. For legal advice on questions of law, please consult a qualified attorney.
What is the status of my background check request?
Please log into your A-Check Direct dashboard and drill down to the appropriate request or select the appropriate Quick Link. Progress is tracked on a per-component basis, allowing you to know exactly what's going on with an individual request. Login to A-Check Direct.
How long does the background check process take?
Most background check reports are returned to within 24-72 hours (3 business days). International requests may take significantly longer, depending on services ordered and jurisdiction. Delays can and do occur in a small percentage of background checks due to factors outside A-Check's control.
Delays can occur due to the following:
1. Incomplete or inaccurate information provided to A-Check during the background check request submission. This is the most common reason for delays.
2. Unresponsive third parties (applicant, employers, references, educational institutions)
3. Holidays: Courts and schools are closed on holidays.
4. Natural Disasters.
5. Court, educational institution or employer procedural delays.
6. Court technical difficulties.
What can I do to expedite the background check process?
Employee screening is both an art and a science. While many factors affect the process which are outside anyone's control, there are a few simple strategies you can use to reduce the time it takes to complete a background check and get that applicant working.
1. Submit Complete Information
Submitting incomplete or inaccurate information delays processing because the applicant or requester must be contacted to clear things up. This is the single most common reason for unnecessary delays. Make sure all required information is provided with the request. Respond promptly to A-Check's requests for additional information.
2. Submit requests early in the week and avoid submitting right before holidays
Courts, employers' HR departments and educational institutions are almost always closed on weekends and holidays. Not even the best connected employee screening company can open a courthouse or registrar's office on Sundays.
3. Communicate Upcoming Ramp-ups
If you are a high-volume employer, let your A-Check Account Administrator know when you are expecting significant hiring surges to ensure appropriate resources get allocated in advance and any potential issues that could cause delays are identified and managed appropriately.
4. Ask for an Account Review
Work with your account manager to identify any process bottlenecks and opportunities for improvement. There may be a more efficient, faster and cost-effective way to accomplish your objectives. If you are having system usage issues, ask for additional training.
5. Consolidate Screening Services
Combine background checks, assessments and drug screening; obtaining them from a single provider means fewer points of contact and pricing efficiencies. If you have Suppliers and require each of them to background check their employees, explore the possibility of a supplier management program which ensures all vendor employees are consistently screened to your standards.
What are my responsibilities as an employer utilizing Background Checks?
Ultimately, employers are responsible for compliance with proper use of background checks. For information, see: Notice to Users of Consumer Reports: Obligations of Users Under FCRA.
Where can I find information about developments in employment screening?
Check out the A-Check Observer Newsletter for regular updates affecting the intersection of HR and employment screening.
How long before convictions are removed from criminal records?
Convictions are not removed from criminal records unless they are expunged.
How long after date of disposition are criminal records reportable?
As an FCRA compliant Consumer Reporting Agency (CRA), A-Check follows criminal records reporting guidelines as established by federal and state law, as well as by specific client business rules.
The FCRA allows CRAs like A-Check to report criminal conviction records indefinitely. Conviction information can be reported indefinitely unless the applicant or employer resides in one of 14 states with legislative restrictions on CRA reporting. In such cases, A-Check follows applicable state-specific reporting guidelines.
Generally speaking, arrest records not resulting in a conviction can be reported for up to 7 years. However, there are 14 states that limit CRA's criminal records reporting to convictions only.
Are offenses committed while a minor reported?
No, with the exception of offenses committed by a minor tried as an adult, subject to applicable federal and state reporting guidelines.
An applicant wants to dispute their background check results. What is the dispute process?
Applicants may request to dispute an element in their report. A-Check will promptly, courteously and professionally attend to any dispute request. The dispute process is as follows:
- The employer is required to provide the applicant a copy of their report, along with a pre-adverse action notice. Applicants may also request a copy from A-Check's Compliance Department through the Report Request Form. Having a copy of the report on hand is not required to begin the reinvestigation process. However, it facilitates identifying specific issues on the report.
- Applicant may contact A-Check’s Compliance Department toll free at 877-345-2021 (direct: 951-750-1501) from 8 AM to 5 PM Pacific time to discuss the specific items in dispute.
- A-Check will open a dispute resolution case and conduct a re-investigation.
- A-Check will contact the applicant and employer with the outcome of the re-investigation as soon as it is completed. If we make changes to the report (such as removing adverse information that does not belong to the applicant), we will provide the applicant and the employer an updated copy along with a Dispute Resolution Confirmation Letter stating the outcome of the re-investigation and the steps taken based on the results.
How long does the dispute process take?
FCRA guidelines allow 30 business days to complete a reinvestigation. However, we understand and respect the urgency of a prompt reinvestigation, both from the applicant and employer’s point of view, so we strive to complete most reinvestigations within 3-5 business days. We may ask you or the applicant for additional information to assist in clearing things up, so please respond to our inquiries in a timely fashion.
How can the applicant request a copy of their background report?
Applicants may request a copy of their completed report from A-Check's Compliance Department through the Report Request Form, or by contacting A-Check's Compliance Department toll free at 877-345-2021 (direct: 951-750-1501) for assistance. There is no charge to the applicant for this service.
How long will it take before the applicant receives a copy of their background report once requested?
There are 3 methods of receiving a copy of the background report -- by fax, by e-mail, or by regular mail, which generally takes between 3-5 business days to receive. Applicants may request a copy of a completed report from A-Check's Compliance Department through the Report Request Form.
What does a background check consist of?
Each employer has specific background check requirements that vary. A-Check can assist your organization in developing a program suited to your specific needs.
Common background check report components may include (but are not limited to):
- Social Security trace: Develops undisclosed addresses or names (AKAs).
- Verification of eligibility to work through E-Verify and Electronic Form I-9.
- Criminal records search: Including searches of county courthouse records, sex offender databases, federal district records, Department of Homeland security databases and other criminal records sources.
- Education history verification: Including degrees earned, dates of attendance and GPA.
- Employment history verification: Including start/end dates, salary and performance
- Credit checks: Detail financial history information
- Drug screening
- MERIT profile: Character and Behavior Assessment
Is a credit check always performed?
No. Credit checks are typically conducted only for positions involving cash handling responsibility or other fiduciary duties. The use of credit checks for employment purposes is restricted in certain states. A-Check can provide updated state by state guidelines to assist employers with this constantly evolving topic.
Do we obtain credit score information if a credit check is conducted?
No. A-Check conducts “credit checks for employment” only, which do not contain any credit score information.
Are the credit inquiries hard hits?
No. A-Check's credit for employment inquiries are considered "soft hits" and do not adversely affect applicant credit scores.
Does A-Check make the hiring decision?
No. Hiring decisions are made by the employer. A-Check has no role in the employer's hiring decisions.
Do you conduct background checks on companies?
Can I request a background check on myself, a friend or anyone else?
No. A-Check offers consent-based employment screening services. The use of A-Check's systems for personal use is prohibited and will result in system access revocation. Companies offering this type of search are prominently featured online through a simple search. However, be advised these searches may not be compliant with FCRA guidelines.
Frequently Asked Employer Questions:
Drug Testing | Medical Screening
How long does it take for Drug Screen results?
For lab-based analysis, typically 24 to 72 hours. Negatives are returned within 24 hours. Non-negatives that require further analysis or MRO consultation are returned within 48-72 hours. Instant detection products (Saliva or Urine analysis) will provide a negative result within a few minutes, but any result other than negative must be confirmed by a lab.
What drug testing method or methods should I use at my organization?
Please Contact A-Check for your particular situation. We will analyze your needs and goals and design a program to fit your needs and budget.
Can I use instant detection products such as saliva or urine analysis cups in my state or country for employment screening purposes?
Please Contact A-Check for your particular situation. There are a few state and country-specific restrictions you should be aware of and we are happy to help you navigate these issues to keep your program compliant.
Can I use A-Check's instant detection products such as saliva or urine analysis cups for home use?
A-Check offers instant detection products for use only in the context of employment screening and does not provide products to the general public for use outside employment-related testing.
What are the time Detection Windows for the different methods of drug testing?
Very generally speaking, detection ranges depend on amount and frequency of use, metabolic rate, body mass, age, overall health, drug tolerance, and urine pH:
- Oral Fluids Analysis: During the first four hours (active use) and up to 3 days from use.
- Urinalysis: 12 hours to 30 days
- Hair Testing: 7 Days to 90 days, with test sensitivity peaking from 60-90 days.
Please see: Drug Detection Windows - A Guide for Employers
Where can I find the text of regulations covering 49 CFR Part 40?
Title 49: Transportation - Part 40 Procedures for Transportation Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing programs (Updated 9-27-2011) (PDF)
Where can I get more information on our responsibilities under 49 CFR Part 40?
Learn more about employer requirements and responsibilities under 49 CFR Part 40 and applicable DOT Agency regulations
DOT Publication for Employees: What Employees Need to Know About DOT Drug and Alcohol Testing (PDF)
What are the required Random DOT Testing Rates?
See 2012 DOT Random Testing Rates (PDF)
I have another question not addressed here. Who do I contact?
Contact A-Check's Client Relations Department toll free at 877-345-2021 (direct: 951-750-1501) for assistance, or click the chat/message button below.
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Notice and Disclaimer: Information contained in this page is of a general informational nature and nothing herein, or on this website, should be construed as legal advice. A-Check provides the links below for convenience only. For legal advice on questions of law, please consult a qualified attorney.
Useful Employer Links
Applicant Rights Under FCRA - Summary of Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act
Federal Trade Commission Report - 40 Years of Experience with the Fair Credit Reporting Act
U.S. Courthouse Locator - US Courthouse Locator
Collection site locators: Quest Diagnostics | Labcorp | Concentra | U.S. Healthworks
U.S. Department of Justice - DOJ
U.S. Department of Homeland Security - DHS
U.S. Federal Trade Commission - FTC
FTC Guidance - Using Consumer Reports: What Employers Need to Know
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau - CFPB
Notice to Users of Consumer Reports: Obligations of Users Under FCRA
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission - EEOC
EEOC Enforcement Guidance on Arrest and Conviction Records 4-25-2012 (PDF)
Federal Bureau of Investigation - FBI Uniform Crime Reporting Program - Crime Statistics
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