BACKGROUND INVESTIGATIONS

We Provide Due Diligence Background Checks For:

Business:

  • Partnerships

  • Mergers

  • Acquisitions

Individuals:

  • Tenant Screening

  • Animal Sales and Adoptions

  • Romantic Partners

Important Employer and Consumer Information

Private investigators are hired to conduct background investigations, or “background checks,” for a variety of client uses, but it is important to be aware of the specific legal restrictions that apply to how such information is collected, used, and dispositioned. The following information is provided to support your understanding of rights, responsibilities, and liabilities as they pertain to employers, employees (consumer), and other requestors of personal background information.


The most common investigations conducted in the private investigations industry:

  • Employment Screening

  • Criminal Background Checks for Youth Workers

  • Due Diligence Reports for Partnerships, Mergers, and Acquisitions

  • Other Uses (tenant screening, animal sales/adoptions, romantic interest, and more)


Lakefront Investigative Group (LIG) proudly provides each one these services. Please reach out to us at info@lakefrontinvestigative.com.

Employment Screening

An employer has the right to request a background investigation on any potential, existing, or even past company employee to assist with making hiring, retention, promotion, or termination decisions. Such a report will include: criminal history, character reference, identify verification, address history, and education verification. Likewise, the individual being investigated (consumers) also have rights, and it is the employer’s responsibility to ensure these rights are protected.


As an example, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) affirms employers are not prohibited from asking about an individual’s criminal history; however, the same employer may not discriminate when using this information for making employment decisions where such a decision would violate Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended. Title VII prohibits employers from:

  • Treating people with similar criminal records differently because of race, nationality, or other Title VII-protected characteristic (which includes color, sex, and religion)

  • Using policies or practices that screen individuals based on criminal history information if they significantly disadvantage Title VII-protected individuals such as African Americans and Hispanics; AND

  • They do not help the employer accurately decide if the person is likely to be a responsible, reliable, or safe employee.

Beyond these consumer protections, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) imposes additional restrictions on employers to protect other consumer rights. The United States Government protects consumer rights as they pertain to fair pre-employment verification and background investigative activities via the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), which strengthens the employee’s (consumer) control over how personal information is accessed and used in general. The FCRA requires employers to:

  • Submit a standalone, written request to the employee for approval to conduct the background investigation. This request must explain the purpose of the investigation, what information will be obtained, and how that information will be used. The employee may deny the request, but the employer retains the right to reject the application for employment based on this decision alone.

  • In the event derogatory information is reported and results in a negative employment decision, the employer must provide the employee:

    • A full copy of the background report

    • A Summary of Rights with reporting entity contact information

    • An opportunity to have information corrected

    • A secondary review based on the corrected report


For disputing errors on a credit report, employers should direct the employee to the Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Information website.

Why are credit reports included in pre-employment background checks? 

Employers are typically less concerned with the specific financial information in contained in an individual’s credit report than they are with the other personally identifiable information (PII) it contains. This PII allows an investigator to verify information such as full name, previous names or aliases, home address history, social security number.

Criminal Background Checks for Youth Workers

According to the National Child Protection Act of 1993 (NCPA), criminal background checks on adults who work with youth are not mandated; however, the NCPA “enhances the existing national background check system from which child care placement and child care organizations may be required to obtain information on workers and volunteers. The NCPA builds on the criminal record system of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and encourages States to authorize the use of criminal record checks on persons who work with children.” Some states, such as Connecticut, have determine they will not mandate background checks for youth workers in that state. This determination came after the Boy Scouts of American (BSA) issued a complaint that their 10,000+ youth workers in Connecticut would then all require criminal background checks. BSA contends the cost prohibitive nature of a criminal background check, which average about $15 per report from State, Regional, and National databases, might discourage volunteerism in their organization.


Results for criminal background checks are typically instantly received upon payment for service and will include records of arrest, felony and misdemeanor convictions, arrest warrants, sexual offenses, and prison records from National, State, and Regional databases. County searches often require additional time for investigators to physically visit county court houses. These searches are typically returned in 2-5 business days depending on the county.