Here’s What Happens During a UPS Background Check

UPS is one of the best-known freight and delivery companies in the United States, responsible for handling millions of packages each year with postal service-like delivery. Alongside home delivery, UPS also operates air freight services and retail store locations where customers can ship items or buy shipping supplies. With about half a million employees worldwide, the company is a frequent choice for those seeking a job, especially on a seasonal basis. When those apply, they must undergo the UPS background check process.

What does this process entail, and what should applicants expect? You can find answers to all the most common questions here, including whether the company will hire a felon. Here’s our exploration into what to know about the UPS process.

Does UPS Require a Background Check When You Apply?

You should expect to go through a compulsory criminal background check with UPS. The company generally screens criminal history to evaluate applicants during hiring. Recent applicants report online that the company rarely uses drug tests for package handler positions. However, drivers must undergo a separate background check and drug test process mandated by the Department of Transportation.

As a matter of fairness, the company requires all applicants to go through an identical process. UPS makes conditional job offers to candidates in all jurisdictions (even beyond “ban the box” locales) before doing any screening. Accepting the conditional job offer commences the screening process.

What UPS Job Roles Have Background Checks?

All UPS jobs require background checks, from warehouse to corporate and office employees. You can expect to go through the process if UPS selects you to move forward with hiring. Some examples of UPS jobs that require background checks are:

  • Package handlers
  • Forklift drivers
  • Delivery truck drivers
  • Managers and supervisors
  • Back office staff
Who Does Background Checks for UPS?

UPS uses a third-party consumer reporting agency to furnish their background checks. This agency checks records on behalf of the company and reports information back to the hiring manager. In the event of adverse action—when the employer regrets an application—applicants can learn the name and contact information of the company that did their check.

What Does UPS Look for in a Background Check?

While there are no public disclosures about UPS background check disqualifiers, the company likely looks for evidence of serious or violent crimes. The goal of vetting is to prevent negligent hiring and protect the public and other employees. Someone with a manslaughter conviction, for example, might face more difficulty in the hiring process than someone with a misdemeanor conviction for petty theft. UPS will consider factors such as the nature of the crime, its relevance to the job, and when it occurred.

UPS drivers must undergo the Department of Transportation screening process, including a five-panel drug screening. Even in states where marijuana is legal, a positive on the DOT test results in disqualification. Drivers must pass a UPS driving history check that includes examining their motor vehicle record, sometimes called an MVR. Recent convictions for driving under the influence may disqualify you from the job. A pattern of problems on the road, such as reckless driving or other moving violations, may also prevent you from driving for UPS.

UPS will also confirm that drivers hold the necessary Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). UPS trucks are commercial vehicles requiring proper training and licensing to operate. However, UPS is unlikely to check an applicant’s education- or job history, especially for warehouse positions. Credit checks are not a part of their hiring process either.

Does UPS Hire Felons as Drivers or Package Handlers?

Yes, UPS has been known to hire felons in many positions throughout the company. Felons are more likely to pass the hiring process if their conviction is very old and they have not had any additional convictions since then. Non-violent crimes and misdemeanors unrelated to the job may also not significantly affect decision-making. However, even non-violent felonies such as grand theft could be a disqualifier for a job involving handling packages in transit.

Ultimately, the company makes these decisions case-by-case.

How Far Back Do UPS Checks Go?

According to recent job applicants discussing the process online, UPS background checks may go back as far as seven years. Some companies consider ten years. However, it is essential to note that felony convictions may always appear on someone’s criminal history report. The company does not officially report on its lookback period. Therefore, applicants should be sure they know what appears in their own background before applying.

How Much Time Do UPS Background Checks Take?

UPS background checks may take as little as one to two business days to resolve. However, they may also take up to a week or more. Delays can occur at many stages in the process. A hiring manager may be late reviewing reports on applicants. There may be a large number of reports to review. There could be delays at the consumer reporting agency. All these factors influence how long your background check takes to process. Contact a hiring manager if you do not hear back within a week.

What Happens With a Failed Background Check?

Per the Fair Credit Reporting Act, companies must notify you if they use your background check to disqualify you. The FCRA requires a letter, a copy of your report, and a waiting period. Applicants rejected due to their report can review the information it contains. If there is an issue, such as mistaken identity, they can dispute the finding and request an investigation.

A final decision will ensue only after the reporting agency verifies the information for UPS. You may then pass the check or receive a final adverse action letter. This letter ends the hiring process and provides more information about your rights.

Anticipate Your Background Check Results in Advance

When UPS makes conditional job offers, that “condition” is passing a background check. Though the company doesn’t disclose specific disqualifiers publicly, each applicant receives an individual assessment. If you’re concerned about what a hiring manager might see when they run your UPS background check, you can find out ahead of time. With, you can order your own criminal history report quickly and easily. You can then review it to ensure you understand all the information companies may see when applying. Order your report today to start preparing for your UPS application.

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