Background Checks In Oregon

The Ultimate Guide to Background Checks in Oregon: What You Need to Know. Are you considering conducting background checks in Oregon? Whether you’re a landlord looking to screen potential tenants or an employer wanting to ensure the safety and integrity of your workforce, conducting background checks is an essential step in making informed decisions. In this ultimate guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about background checks in Oregon, from the laws and regulations to the process and best practices.

Understanding the Laws and Regulations:

Before diving into the world of background checks in Oregon, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the laws and regulations that govern this practice. The primary law to be aware of is the Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS) Chapter 659A, which outlines the state’s regulations on employment practices, including background checks. Additionally, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) governs the use of consumer reports, including background checks, at the federal level.

Types of Background Checks:

There are various types of background checks you can conduct in Oregon, depending on your specific needs. These may include criminal history checks, employment verification, education verification, credit history checks, and reference checks. Each type of background check serves a different purpose and helps you gather comprehensive information about an individual’s background.

Criminal History Checks:

Criminal history checks are one of the most common types of background checks. In Oregon, employers are allowed to consider an applicant’s criminal history but must follow certain guidelines set forth by the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI). It’s important to note that you cannot automatically disqualify an applicant solely based on their criminal history, as this may be considered discriminatory. Instead, you must evaluate each case individually and consider factors such as the nature and gravity of the offense, its relevance to the job, and the time that has passed since the offense occurred.

Employment and Education Verification:

Employment and education verification are essential components of a thorough background check. These checks help you confirm an applicant’s work experience, job titles, responsibilities, and educational qualifications. By conducting these verifications, you can ensure that the information provided by the applicant is accurate and reliable.

Credit History Checks:

Credit history checks are commonly used for positions that involve financial responsibilities or access to sensitive financial information. In Oregon, employers can request credit reports for employment purposes but must comply with the FCRA and obtain written consent from the applicant before doing so. Additionally, employers must provide a clear and specific reason for requesting credit history information and ensure that it is relevant to the job’s requirements.

Reference Checks:

Reference checks involve contacting the applicant’s provided references to gather insights about their character, work ethic, and performance. While reference checks can provide valuable information, it’s essential to keep in mind that they should be used as supplementary data, as references may have biases or personal relationships with the applicant.

Best Practices for Background Checks In Oregon

To ensure a smooth and effective background check process, consider implementing the following best practices:

Obtain written consent:

Always obtain written consent from the applicant before conducting a background check and ensure they understand the purpose and scope of the check.

Use a reputable background check provider:

Partner with a reputable background check provider that complies with all applicable laws and regulations. They can help you navigate the complexities of background checks and ensure that you receive accurate and up-to-date information.

Stay compliant with laws and regulations:

Familiarize yourself with the laws and regulations governing background checks in Oregon. Regularly review and update your procedures to stay compliant and avoid legal repercussions.

Maintain confidentiality:

Handle all background check information with utmost confidentiality and ensure that it is securely stored and accessed only by authorized personnel.

Conducting background checks in Oregon is a crucial step in making informed decisions about potential tenants or employees. By understanding the laws, types of checks, and best practices, you can conduct thorough and compliant background checks that provide you with the necessary information to make confident choices. Remember, partnering with a reputable background check provider can streamline the process and ensure accurate results.

Navigating the Background Check Process in Oregon: A Step-by-Step Guide:

Are you considering conducting background checks in Oregon? Whether you’re an employer screening potential employees or a landlord looking to vet potential tenants, understanding the background check process is crucial. In this step-by-step guide, we will walk you through the process of conducting background checks in Oregon and provide you with valuable insights along the way.

Step 1: Determine the Purpose of the Background Check:

Before diving into the background check process, it’s essential to determine why you need to conduct one. Are you an employer looking to ensure a safe work environment? Or, perhaps you’re a landlord seeking responsible tenants for your property. Clearly defining the purpose will help you navigate the process more effectively.

Step 2: Familiarize Yourself with Oregon’s Laws:

Oregon has specific laws and regulations regarding background checks, and it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with them. The Oregon Fair Employment Practices Act (ORS 659A) outlines the rights and responsibilities of employers when conducting background checks. Understanding these laws will help you stay compliant throughout the process.

Step 3: Obtain Written Consent:

Before performing a background check, you must obtain written consent from the individual you plan to screen. This requirement ensures transparency and protects the individual’s privacy rights. Make sure to provide a clear explanation of the purpose and scope of the background check to obtain informed consent.

Step 4: Choose the Right Background Check Provider:

Selecting a reputable background check provider is essential for accurate and reliable results. Look for a provider that specializes in background checks in Oregon and has a track record of delivering comprehensive reports. Reading customer reviews and comparing different providers can help you make an informed decision.

Step 5: Collect Relevant Information:

To initiate the background check, you’ll need to gather essential information about the individual, such as their full name, date of birth, and social security number. This information will be used to conduct a thorough search of public records, criminal databases, employment history, and more.

Step 6: Review the Background Check Report:

Once the background check is complete, carefully review the report for any relevant information. Pay close attention to criminal records, employment history, education verification, and any other pertinent details related to your specific purpose. Remember to respect the individual’s privacy and use the information solely for the intended purpose.

Step 7: Ensure Compliance with Oregon Laws:

As an employer or landlord, it’s crucial to comply with all applicable laws throughout the background check process. Oregon law prohibits discrimination based on certain protected classes, such as race, gender, disability, and more. Ensure that your screening process remains fair and unbiased to avoid any legal implications.

Step 8: Maintain Confidentiality:

Background check results contain sensitive and personal information. It’s essential to handle these reports with the utmost care and maintain confidentiality. Store the reports securely, and only share them with authorized individuals involved in the decision-making process.

Step 9: Communicate Findings Appropriately:

If the background check reveals any concerning information, it’s important to communicate the findings appropriately. Follow any legal requirements and procedures outlined by Oregon law when discussing the results with the individual. Transparency and honesty are key during this stage.

Step 10: Respect Individual Rights:

Throughout the entire background check process, it’s crucial to respect the individual’s rights and privacy. Ensure that you are compliant with Oregon laws and treat all applicants or tenants fairly and impartially. By doing so, you can create a positive and trustworthy experience for everyone involved.


Conducting background checks in Oregon doesn’t have to be a daunting task. By following this step-by-step guide, you can navigate the process with ease and confidence. Remember to stay informed, comply with relevant laws, and treat each individual with respect. With these guidelines in mind, you’ll be well on your way to making informed decisions that prioritize safety and security.