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, 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 North Dakota, employers must comply with laws concerning arrests and convictions, criminal background checks, and driver's record information.
Access to criminal records. Records of convictions other than sealed or expunged records may be obtained from the state Bureau of Criminal Investigation (ND Cent. Code Sec. 12-60-16.6). The request must be in writing and must contain the name of the requester and the name of the subject of the request plus the fingerprints of the record subject. If the request is made without submitting the fingerprints, the request must also include the name of the record subject and at least two items of information used by the bureau to retrieve criminal history records, including:
• The state identification number assigned to the record subject by the bureau