Every state has laws and regulations that limit employers’ ability to access or utilize criminal history information for employment decisions. Texas is no exception. Employers in the state should be aware of these limitations before ordering a Texas background check. Below, backgroundchecks.com has put together a list of relevant background check regulations for the state of Texas.
Ban the Box
Texas does not currently have any statewide ban the box laws on the books. However, several jurisdictions throughout the state do have fair chance hiring regulations that may impact an employer’s use of a Texas state criminal history check.
Dallas County, Travis County, and San Antonio all ban the box for city or county positions. Austin has a ban the box ordinance that applies to private and public jobs. In Austin, private employers with 15 or more employees are not allowed to use job applications that include questions about criminal history. They must also delay the background check process until after a conditional offer of employment has been extended to the candidate. There is a $500 fine for each violation of this rule.
Arrest and Conviction Records
Unlike in many other states, employers in Texas are legally permitted to consider arrest records for hiring purposes along with conviction information. The only limitation is employers cannot inquire into arrests or convictions that have been expunged from the public record.
Many human rights groups throughout the United States take issue with the use of arrest histories in employment situations. The argument is arrests do not prove guilt and must, therefore, be investigated more thoroughly before they can be used as a reason to disqualify a job candidate. Specifically, employers are encouraged to find out whether an arrest led to a charge or a conviction.
Because most employers do not have the resources or know-how to look deeper into arrest records, backgroundchecks.com opts to omit arrest records from background check reports—including for this Texas state background check.