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Iowa Background Check

Iowa employers need to find and then hire workers quickly when they have open positions. Fast hiring helps businesses run their operations without a hitch and keep their profits in check.

However, hiring the best individuals is equally important for business. Conducting a thorough Iowa background check helps businesses verify applicants' statements on their resumes. It also helps screen out those with no criminal convictions that are disqualifying in their previous.


Iowa Background Check


Our vast experience in carrying out background checks for employees across Iowa City, Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, and more have inspired us to create this guide to the screening process for employees that you can use to guide.

4 Reasons Employers within Iowa conduct background checks

There are a variety of reasons Iowa companies conduct background screening. A selection of the most commonly used ones is listed below.

Basic Background checks for Prospective employees: Most Iowa businesses conduct pre-employment tests on potential applicants as a standard part of their hiring process.

They verify the assertions made by their applicants on their applications and resumes. They also verify that the people they choose to hire do not hold pertinent criminal records.

  1. Comprehensive Background checks for Supervisors and Managers

Because those who serve as supervisors or managers have more responsibility than employees at entry-level, employers typically conduct thorough background checks for those deemed suitable for these roles.

Background checks for supervisory roles could contain additional background information other than those background checks that are conducted for applicants who are applying for lower-level positions.

  1. Screenings for employment at regular intervals

Certain businesses in Iowa conduct routine background checks after employees have been hired. For instance, Iowa ranks fourth among all states regarding manufacturing jobs.

Employers in the manufacturing sector in the state could conduct regular background checks on their employees to ensure that nothing that might be a threat to their safety has surfaced after hiring.

An example of one of the kinds of tests that state-owned manufacturers could carry out is random screening for drugs.

Like the transportation sector, other businesses in the state are required by federal and state laws to carry out regular checks on their employees.

  1. Background checks for pre-employment are required for the Caring Professions.

Companies that offer services to seniors or disabled children and those with mental illness run specialized screenings on candidates for jobs and potential volunteers.

The companies that provide services to vulnerable customers must be sure they are safe.

This is why the kinds of background checks carried out by social service providers are usually more thorough than the checks performed by other kinds of businesses.

Iowa Employment Background Check Laws 2022

Employers within Iowa perform background screening; they must adhere to all applicable laws. If you don't comply with the state and federal laws that govern how background checks must be conducted, you could be subject to penalties, fines, and lawsuits.

Below is a selection of the most important federal and state laws.

Federal Laws on Employment Background Checks


The U.S. Fair Credit Reporting Act was adopted and signed into law in the year 1970 to ensure consumers' privacy when it comes to the information collected and provided by consumer credit reporting agencies.

The law regulates firms that offer background check services and the employers who use the information they submit.

If employers wish to verify the background of prospective applicants, they must give written notice of the will to do so. They should also obtain the signature of the applicant before proceeding.

If a background check report reveals problematic information, employers must complete the adverse action process before making a final decision whether or not to employ the candidate.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

Former President Lyndon B. Johnson signed Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This law is a landmark one that prohibits discrimination based on specific characteristics protected for candidates and workers.

Title VII applies to pre-employment background checks in cases where reports show that candidates have convictions for a crime. As per the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the agency responsible for enforcing Title VII, employers should conduct an individual assessment of convictions in the sense that they relate directly to the job before choosing not to hire candidates.

Iowa State Laws on Employment Background Checks

Employers operating in Iowa must adhere to the regulations in Title VII and the FCRA in addition to Title VII. While only a handful of Iowa state laws govern background checks, some state laws apply to the background check process, and employers should be aware of the ones listed below.

Waterloo Ban-the-Box Law

In 2019, the City of Waterloo passed a ban-the-box ordinance that prohibited hiring managers from soliciting criminal background information on employment applications and required applicants to be patient until their conditional contract for a job was extended.

The law also banned employers from making a negative hiring decision based on criminal history.

The Iowa Supreme Court struck down this law. Still, it confirmed the portion of the law which obliges employers to wait until an offer of employment conditional on being extended before conducting background checks.

This ordinance is only applicable to employers located in Waterloo. However, other Iowa employers are advised to see if other cities across the state adopt similar laws.

Employers must pay the cost of a background check.

Employers can conduct background checks. However, they can't oblige employees or applicants to pay for some of them under Iowa Code SS 692.2(6)(b).

Iowa Expungement Law

Iowa adopted an expungement law in the year 2019. According to Iowa Code SS 901C.3, those with certain misdemeanors that have been convicted on their criminal records may apply for expungement when eight years have passed from the date of their convictions, they do not have outstanding criminal charges and have paid all fees and court fees fines.

After expungement, the applicant can claim they don't possess any convictions for misdemeanors when potential employers ask them. The expunged misdemeanors won't be reported in background checks.

What is shown in a background check for employment within Iowa?

The information you will find on the Iowa background check or employment background check will vary according to the type of background information required by the employer.

The majority of companies require information on the criminal record of applicants and past employment history, educational background, and professional licensing.

Employers who hire employees to drive as a significant element of their job request driving records screenings. Most employers require screenings for pre-employment drugs when they receive extended job offers with conditional terms.

Screens for pre-employment in Iowa could include the following kinds of information on the background

  • Criminal convictions, including misdemeanor convictions not expunged
  • In the process of defending criminal charges
  • Arrests that result in convictions
  • List of the sex offender registry
  • History of address
  • Employment background
  • History of education
  • List of the Domestic Terrorist Watch List


Let's see what we can find in these reports down below.

Criminal History

Employers who have non-plunged misdemeanors, as well as any felony convictions, will find the following details in their criminal background checks:

  • Offense date
  • Offense Type
  • Offense stage (misdemeanor or criminal)
  • Disposition
  • Disposition date
  • Sentence


Misdemeanors that are expunged will not be listed on a criminal record report.

Educational History

If you are looking for an Education Verification Report, you'll receive the following kinds of information:

  • All schools are attended
  • Dates of attendance
  • Degrees, diplomas, or certificates that are awarded


Requesting proof of education can help employers verify the claims made by applicants to ensure that those they employ are genuine and well-qualified to perform their job.

Employment Verification

If you are requesting verification of employment, the following kinds of information will be listed in the document:

  • Every previous employer
  • Employment dates
  • Titles and jobs that are available

How Long Does an Investigation of Background Go within Iowa?

The length of time the pre-employment background check in Iowa can be conducted is determined by Iowa law and the FCRA in conjunction with Iowa law. The FCRA provides a seven-year lookback clause for jobs paying annual wages lower than $75,000. If your job offers have a salary less than this The following types of information won't be included in the report:

  • Arrests that do not result in convictions
  • Bankruptcies
  • Civil judgments
  • Civil lawsuits
  • Liens


The lookback restrictions do not apply to documents about criminal convictions or employment that pays $75,000 or more in a year.

In Iowa's law on expungement, the expungement of misdemeanors older than eight years will not be recorded.

The restrictions on lookbacks are also not applicable to work history, education, or credentials. Again, these are pertinent background information that can be reported regardless of how old the data is.

How do I get an Iowa Background Check?

Employers in Iowa can request information on applicants' criminal history through the Iowa Division of Investigation by sending the request and invoice forms via post or fax.

However, receiving information from the state will provide information on criminal records in Iowa and won't provide details about convictions from the federal court system or in other states. In addition, the reports do not contain information on the applicant's job, education, driving record, or any other vital information.

An online seller may be promising to run an absolutely free Iowa background check. It is best not to rely on such a vendor since they might not comply with the FCRA or state law and could provide you with outdated and inaccurate information. In addition, if you make decisions about your employment from the information provided, you may be subject to legal responsibility.

It is best to choose a reliable before employment background check company like The Koleman Group LLC. We are always in compliance with the FCRA and provide quick, complete, accurate, current, and up-to-date background check reports to our customers.

As the employer in Iowa. How do I Ensure Compliance?

Maintaining compliance with the laws that govern background checks is essential. If you do not adhere to laws, then you may be penalized and fined and even threatened with legal action by the applicants you hire.

To ensure you comply with the law, follow these guidelines.

  1. Beware of asking about Criminal History on Your Applications.

The sole city within Iowa that currently bans the question about criminal data in applications is Waterloo. There is a growing number of states and cities that have enacted ban-the-box laws.

Even if this law may seem to apply, it's nevertheless a good idea not to inquire about your criminal history until later on in the process of hiring.

  1. Analyze each case individually.

Suppose an applicant's background check reveals a criminal background check reveals a conviction or conviction. In that case, you must conduct an individual review of it in the way it pertains directly to the job for which the applicant has applied.

Don't take a bad job choice without making an individual evaluation and documenting the outcome.

  1. Send a Pre-Adverse Action Notification.

If you are not willing to work with someone who has an arrest record, you can give a pre-adverse-action notice to them.

Within the notification, you must identify the crime-causing concern and include a copy of the report. Set a date for providing the information needed to prove the verdict, such as proof of rehabilitation or evidence that the record is inaccurate.

  1. Send an official notice of adverse action.

If you do not intend to employ the applicant, follow a thorough evaluation of the case, go through the adverse action procedure, and send them an adverse action final notice, according to the FCRA and the state law, including information on the applicant's rights.

What Qualifies You to Be Disqualified from background checks for Iowa?

Different types of information found on an employee background check in Iowa might constitute a disqualification. Certain kinds of information that are disqualifying are discussed below.

Certain Criminal Convictions

A large number of Americans have criminal convictions. Although an applicant may not be denied a job because of convictions, certain sectors are governed by regulations that prohibit hiring individuals who have specific kinds of convictions. Employers could make a negative decision on the job on a conviction or conviction that is directly connected to the duties required for the job.

False Claims Regarding Previous Employment

Some applicants lie about their employment dates to cover up gaps or deny the jobs they've been in. Unfortunately, employment verification is quick to reveal lies, and those who make false claims about their professional experience will probably be denied a job.

FALSE Claims About Education

Others may embellish their academic accomplishments and claim to have attended prestigious colleges but not or have degrees they never received. Educational verification reports expose the falsehoods of these applicants to light and could result in the refusal to work.

Bad Driving Record

Candidates for jobs that require drivers are likely to undergo driving record screening. However, anyone with a long list of traffic offenses or convictions for serious traffic violations will probably be turned down due to safety and insurance concerns.

Failure to pass a drug screen

Many employers offer employment contingent upon being able to pass pre-employment drug screenings. However, a failed drug test can cause a conditional offer to be canceled.

What is the cost of an Investigation into a Criminal Record for Iowa?

If you want to obtain the criminal history report by the state, you'll be charged $15 for the report. But, this kind of report will not be exhaustive and doesn't include information on convictions in other jurisdictions, work history and education records, and other relevant data.

Employers may attempt to conduct background checks by themselves using an "at-home" approach. However, contacting multiple organizations, former employers, schools and conducting searches online can take a lot of time and may not provide all kinds of information required.

It is recommended to partner with a reputable background check company like The Koleman Group LLC. We have access to up-to-date, reliable databases and employ sophisticated research techniques to swiftly deliver FCRA-compliant, accurate and up-to-date background check reports.

We also provide a wide selection of background check reports, allowing you to choose only the type of information that you require.

If you think that you'll need to purchase 50 or more annual background checks for employment, You can also take advantage of our huge discount on bulk orders. Contact us now for no-cost, no-obligation quotes.

What is the length of time a Background Check Last for Iowa?

The time a background check report will take to get back according to the method you select for conducting the check. For example, if you attempt to send requests to various organizations, former employers, and even schools by yourself, you expect the process to take some time.

Many employers are unable to keep open positions for this long. The requirement to make quick hiring decisions is another reason employers rely on The Koleman Group LLC. We can send background checks before employment background check reports to our clients in Iowa for only a few hours.

The Koleman Group LLC is your trusted partner for Fast and Accurate, Regulatory Iowa Background checks.

Iowa background check is a crucial element in hiring for companies. They can help you reduce the risk of liability and ensure the safety of your employees and customers.

Our vast resource base and advanced research abilities enable us to provide fully FCRA-compliant, current, and precise background check reports to our Iowa clients.

Call The Koleman Group LLC today to get free quotes and learn more about what background check services we can offer.

Disclaimer: The materials provided in this article are meant to be educational only and are not legal advice. Contact your attorney for legal concerns regarding your particular practices and compliance with applicable laws.


Updated on 2022-06-07 21:33:49 by larry coleman

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