When you hire a nanny, you should recognize that you are an employer. As an employer you are regulated by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). This requires you to get the job applicant's written permission before you purchase a pre-employment background check.
It is easy to get their permission, just include a permission form or short paragraph in their job application, that they will sign when they fill out you job application. And yes, you definitely should have a job application, and have them fill it out in front of you. Otherwise, they can take it home and make up a bunch of plausible sounding lies. Also, if they object to the background check, then you do not want to hire them.
If you find out anything bad about them that influences you not to hire them, then the FCRA requires that you tell them what it is and where you got it.
However, if you do not purchase a background check, then you do not have to get their permission. You can research all you want on your own. You can learn
How to Do a Free Background Search
, here. For a free criminal background check, the basic process is that you look at the job application to find out in what cities and counties they have lived, then you go to the government web sites in those locales and search their criminal records. Some government web sites offer the information for free, and some charge a small fee. The complexity arises because there is no government database that covers the entire nation, which is open to the public. So, if they could have lived in other locations (which they may hide), then you can use a private company that specializes in nationwide background checks. So, if you purchase a
pre-employment background search
, then the FCRA applies.
I think I will start off with a free background search for my future nanny. I want to know if she has a criminal record and any other details I can find. The question is: will this be enough or do I have to pay for a more complete one? I want to make sure there are no surprises (at least not huge ones) and that I’m hiring a person that doesn’t have big skeletons in her closet. Any advice is appreciated. Thank you.
Hey, Logan! Did you do the employment background search for your nanny? What did you find? I’m very curious to see if the free background check was a good option for you. I’m in a similar situation and I’m considering the free option and if needed even a paid one. I just want to know my kids will be in safe hands and that my future nanny doesn’t have who knows what surprises in her past. If you see this, please reply and share your findings. Thanks.
I’ve only done the free check and didn’t find anything that would make me not hire her. I’m ok with what I found and won’t be going for a paid option right now. But if you have doubts then go for it. Better safe than sorry. That doesn’t mean I won’t be keeping my eye on her; I will because I don’t know if she can be trusted plus these are my kids we’re talking about and I need to be careful. I hope for the best but am ready for bad surprises – it’s the best way to be ready for anything.