Virginia has several laws that limit or regulate the use of criminal history records for employment decisions. Employers should take note of these laws and their implications before ordering a Virginia background check.
Employers in Virginia are legally permitted to ask candidates about arrest histories. If a candidate has been arrested before, the employer has the right to weigh that information as part of the hiring process. Most background checks—including this Virginia background check search—will exclude arrest histories from the report.
Ban the Box
Many Virginia jurisdictions have passed ban the box policies. These laws and ordinances prohibit employers from asking questions about criminal history on their job applications. So far, ban the box legislation in Virginia has only applied to public employers. Local government jobs in Alexandria, Arlington County, Blacksburg, Charlottesville, Danville, Fairfax County, Frederiksberg, Harrisonburg, and Henry County must follow ban the box policies, as must the state government. Several of these jurisdictions require public employers to delay the background check process until after a conditional offer of employment has been made.
Employers in Virginia need to be careful when it comes to records that have been expunged or sealed. State law prohibits employers from asking candidates about criminal or arrest records that have been expunged. Employers who require candidates to disclose information pertaining to expunged records may be found guilty of a misdemeanor crime. A Virginia State Police criminal history check should never include any details about convictions that have been removed from public record.