A hiring background check is commonly performed by employers prior to making a new employee recruitment decision. Depending upon where you live, different kinds of information can be obtained. What is allowed varies by state. In all cases, the employment check can only be done with your consent. You will need to sign a document provided by the employer prior to the employment check being done.
Employers have limited rights when performing a background check on prospective employees. There are a number of laws that dictate what can and cannot be done. For example, according to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the employer must provide a copy of the credit report if the applicant is not selected based on that report. Additionally, "under the Americans with Disabilities Act employers may inquire only about an applicant's ability to perform specific job duties and cannot request an employee's medical records." See: SBA.gov - Pre-Employment Background Checks
Employers must abide by these laws.
A criminal background check is most often done by taking fingerprints and these are checked against a criminal database. If you have a criminal record, the employer may not consider you for employment. It is for this reason that felons have a very difficult time finding jobs. Some employers will hire a felon, but not many due to the potential liabilities.
If your background check comes back to the employer and it shows you have filed for bankruptcy, they are not to use this as a reason for NOT hiring you. However, being able to determine what keeps an employer from offering you a position isn't always easy. They can say it is one thing when it is really something else.
Your best bet is to be honest in all of your dealings with employers. Do not lie on your resume or job application and truthfully respond to all questions during the interview. If/when the employer asks you if they can perform a background check, you should agree to it. Not doing so will almost certainly prohibit your further consideration for a job.
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