A criminal background check conducted at the state level is a way to discover a variety of information on an individual by pulling data from a state's central criminal repository. In Arizona, that database is held by the Criminal History Records division of the state's Department of Public Safety. The repository maintains records from all the counties within Arizona, enabling this background check to search data from counties including Maricopa, Pinal, Yavapai, and Pima.
Arrest records, conviction and sentencing details, and related information are available through these checks. backgroundchecks.com currently offers fast state-level background checks for 30 states, including Arizona. Employers who wish to consider all the facts before deciding on an applicant use these searches to see the big picture.
There are not many restrictions on the records an employer can obtain through an Arizona background check. However, a recent increase in ban the box policies at both state and county levels has had an impact on what public employers may use in their considerations and when they may ask for it. To provide clarity on the rules in effect here, please review our breakdown of the restrictions in place for employers seeking an Arizona background check.
No restrictions. Arizona issues no impediments to employers who wish to consider and use arrest records. However, it is important to keep in mind the general guidance issued by the EEOC: employers are cautioned against using an arrest as the sole reason for disqualification.
No restrictions for private employers, who may inquire into and use any conviction records. The Arizona Civil Rights Division advises employers to clearly state to applicants a conviction will not result in immediate disqualification. For public employers, only convictions reasonably related to the job’s duties may be considered, e.g., a D.U.I. conviction for a position as a city bus driver.
Ban the Box
In recent years, the state, several counties, and some municipalities have taken steps to implement ban the box regulations. As of November 2017, some (but not all) state agencies in Arizona may not conduct a background check until after an initial application and interview. A similar procedure is in place for the city of Glendale. In Phoenix, city-level positions do not warrant criminal history checks until an applicant is a finalist for a job position; if the check disqualifies an applicant, they must receive notice and have the opportunity to appeal the decision.
Tempe employs a questionnaire system for finalist applicants as a precursor to a fingerprint-based background check but bans the box on initial applications. Tucson delays inquiries until after the first interview. At the county level, Maricopa and Pima counties have implemented policies to ban the box on initial public applications while maintaining other rules in accordance with EEOC guidance and FCRA regulations.
There are no ban the box rules for private employers in Arizona.
There are no additional restrictions governing inquiries into or usage of records which may be sealed or expunged during employment considerations.