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Maine Background Checks: What you need to know

There are a number of ways for employers to gather information on the background of an applicant for employment. Employers may simply call an applicant's former employer to confirm the applicant's dates of employment and title and to try to obtain a more detailed reference from a supervisor. However, more and more frequently, employers are hiring third parties to conduct background checks on applicants who have been offered employment. In addition, depending on the nature of the position, employers are requesting reports about an applicant's driving record, criminal record, and/or credit history. There are often legal limits on employers obtaining and using this type of information. When employers hire a third party to conduct a background check or to obtain reports from outside agencies, such reports are subject to the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and state laws. In Maine, employers must comply with laws concerning consumer reports, criminal background checks, and driver's record information.
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In Maine, employers must comply with most of the terms of the federal FCRA, including the notice requirements. Maine has a few differences from FCRA. For example, unlike the FCRA, Maine law has requirements for security freezes (i.e., when a company obtaining the report requests that the consumer reporting agency not release any information from the report without the permission of the company). These additional state law requirements do not apply when an employer is using the credit report merely for prescreening purposes. Maine also has different penalties than FCRA.
State law allows agencies to consider criminal records in relation ...

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