Background Checks in Nevada: Legality & Other FAQs

If you have been convicted of a violent crimedrug related crime or any other crime, in Nevada, chances are, your prospects for obtaining employment may be hampered if the potential employer makes use of background checks prior to hiring.

Background checks have become a standard practice for employers, landlords, and licensing agencies in Nevada. These checks provide valuable information about an individual’s criminal and consumer history, helping organizations make informed decisions when it comes to hiring, renting properties, or granting licenses.

In fact, a recent survey found that 95 percent of employers do check the applicant’s background in their hiring process.

If you have a conviction in Nevada, chances are, that will show up on your background check. This includes common offenses in Las Vegas such as DUI. However, this does not mean that you will automatically be denied employment or housing opportunities.

Your best course of action is to apply for a record seal, which can help hide your criminal records from public view. A knowledgeable criminal defense attorney can assist you in this process and help you understand the laws that govern background checks in Nevada.

Contact our office today for help with your record seal and to ensure that your criminal records do not hinder your future prospects.

What Laws Govern the Obtaining and Use of Background Checks?

Background checks are legal in Nevada, but there are specific regulations and limitations in place to protect individuals’ rights. Understanding these laws is crucial to ensure fair and lawful practices when conducting background checks. The main laws that govern background checks in Nevada include:

Nevada’s “Ban the Box” Law

Nevada has implemented a “ban the box” law, which prohibits government employers from asking about an applicant’s criminal history on the initial job application.

This law aims to give individuals with criminal records a fair chance at employment by delaying inquiries into their criminal history until later stages of the hiring process.

However, there are exceptions to this law for certain positions, such as peace officers, firefighters, or roles with access to sensitive information.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is a federal law that applies to certain employers who use third-party reporting agencies for background checks.

Under the FCRA, employers must obtain written consent from applicants before conducting background checks and provide them with a copy of the report if adverse employment decisions are made based on the findings. This law ensures that individuals are aware of and have the opportunity to address any potential inaccuracies in their background reports.

The FCRA sets minimum requirements on a nationwide basis for various types of background reports and the information allowed to be included. Many states have additional requirements and allowances in addition to the FCRA.

Nevada is largely in line with FCRA requirements, but has some additions as discussed below.

Anti-Discrimination Laws

Both federal and Nevada state laws prohibit employers from discriminating against individuals based on their race and color. This extends to the use of background checks, as blanket disqualifications of individuals with criminal records may disproportionately affect certain racial and ethnic groups.

Employers must be cautious not to have policies that result in discriminatory practices and should consider the relevance of an applicant’s criminal history to the specific job requirements.

Types of Background Reports

When conducting background checks, employers and other organizations may use different types of reports to gather information about an individual’s criminal and consumer history. The two main types of background reports are:

Consumer Reports

Consumer reports include information such as credit history, general financial and personal information about an individual, such as addresses of record, employment history, credit payment history, and overall indebtedness.

These reports are typically obtained from public records and credit reporting agencies.

Consumer reports generally do not include medical information without the individual’s written consent.

Investigative Consumer Reports

The Investigative Consumer Report contains additional information regarding an individual’s character, general reputation, personal practices, and mode of living among other personal traits and practices. These reports are obtained from public records, but may also include results of personal contact with neighbors, friends, work associates and other acquaintances.

In order to obtain a consumer report, employers must disclose to prospective employees that a consumer report may be requested, and the prospective employee must acknowledge the disclosure by a signature. This disclosure and acknowledgment must be a separate document that contains nothing else but the disclaimer and signature.

Additional disclosure requirements for an Investigative Consumer Report require the prospective employer to notify the prospective employee, in writing, that the employer will be obtaining in-depth information. The report must be mailed or delivered to the person no later than three days after the report is requested. Additionally, the disclosure must advise the person that they have a right to obtain additional disclosures and a written summary of legal rights.

Consumer Reports may not include medical information without the written consent of the person, and may not include arrest information prior to seven years of the date of the report unless the job will pay more than $75,000 annually.

Convictions of felonies, and misdemeanors that occurred prior to the seven-year limit may appear.

Nevada Laws Governing Consumer Reporting

Until 2015, Nevada law did not allow reporting of criminal convictions prior to seven years of the report date. Nevada Senate Bill 409 removed these prohibitions bringing Nevada more in line with the FCRA. Convictions of any felonies and misdemeanors may now appear in Consumer Reports.

Nevada law prohibits employers from requiring a Consumer Report, or taking adverse action against a potential employee based on a Consumer Report, unless, the employer is required to do so by state or federal law, or the employer believes the prospective applicant has engaged in illegal activity, or the employer believes that the report is significantly related to the position.
The state considers a Consumer Report to be related to the position if the duties of the position include:

  • Care, custody and handling of, or responsibility for, money, financial records, corporate credit or debit cards or other assets
  • Access to trade secrets and other proprietary or confidential information
  • Managerial or supervisory responsibility
  • The direct exercise of law enforcement authority as an employee of a state or local law enforcement agency
  • The care, custody and handling of, or responsibility for, the personal information of another person
  • Access to the personal financial information of another person
  • Employment with a financial institution
  • Employment with a licensed gaming establishment

The Defenders Criminal Defense Attorneys - Best of Las Vegas Gold WinnerThe Defenders Can Help

Even with Nevada’s additional restrictions on consumer reporting, the information in a Consumer Report can be damaging. Convictions of crimes in Nevada can be made available to potential employers, and the state no longer imposes a limit on how old the conviction may be.

The best course, if charged with a violation of the criminal code, is to hire an attorney who can vigorously defend you against the charges.

The lawyers of the Defenders can provide that kind of defense and stand ready to assist you. Call us today at (702) 333-3333.

If you already have a criminal record, it’s important to know that you have the option to seal your records. The Defenders can help you navigate this process and potentially clear your record. Contact us to learn more about how we can assist you with sealing your criminal records in Nevada.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a background check in Nevada?

A background check in Nevada is a comprehensive review of an individual’s criminal, professional, and sometimes personal history. This process can reveal information about a person’s character, trustworthiness, and reliability.

What is included in a background check?

A background check may include a review of an individual’s employment history, education, credit history, criminal records, and driving record. Depending on the type of report requested, additional information such as character references or personal interviews may also be included.

What information does a Nevada background check include?

A typical Nevada background check includes criminal records, employment history, education verification, and credit history. Some checks may also involve drug screening and driving records. Each piece of information serves a significant role in painting a complete picture of an individual’s background.

Can sealed records appear in a background check?

In most cases, sealed records should not appear in a background check. However, certain agencies, such as the Nevada Gaming Control Board and the Division of Insurance, may have access to sealed criminal records.

Do employers have to disclose the reason for adverse employment decisions based on a background check?

Do employers have to disclose the reason for adverse employment decisions based on a background check?

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