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Employment Background Check Laws By State

Interpretation and implementation of the FCRA, as well as state and locality Ban the Box laws and policies that supplement the FCRA, evolve on an almost daily basis. Therefore, the information provided here is not intended to be legal advice. Please consult with your own legal counsel for advice related to your state or locality.

In addition to federal regulations regarding background screens, employers should be aware that individual states have instituted their own reporting requirements. Crimcheck has compiled a list of background check laws across all 50 states. As one example, similar to the FCRA’s restriction on reporting non convictions that are occurred over seven years past, some states have passed their own rules that further limit consumer reporting agencies (CRAs), such as Crimcheck from reporting both conviction and non-conviction data. 

Non convictions

States that entirely bar non convictions from being reported regardless of when they occurred include California, Kentucky, New York and New Mexico.  For this reason, in these states, employers may not see non conviction information in the background check report even if the data is available from an unexamined source, such as a law enforcement database.


According to FCRA rules, convictions can be reported on the background screen regardless of when they occurred. However, several states limit the timeframe of conviction reporting to seven years. These states include California, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montanan, New Mexico, New York, New Hampshire and Washington.

States have specific laws regarding how employers can use the information contained in the criminal record during the hiring process, such as “Ban the Box,” an initiative by advocates for ex-offender aimed at removing the check box that asks about a candidate’s criminal background. The momentum for the national adoption of “Ban-the-box” laws is steadily gathering pace. Currently there are 24 states and 150 cities that have adopted Ban-the-box laws.

Crimcheck automates reporting that is fully compliant with each state’s requirements to help your company avoid reading information that is not legally permitted to be disclosed.

Select a state to learn about its Background Check Laws:

Note: This information is not intended to be legal advice. Please consult with your own legal counsel for advice related to your state/locality. Living in Massachusetts? Click here to read more about CORI Checks.