Background Checks: Federal, State or Both?

When our country was founded the idea was that the individual states would have many powers and the federal government’s powers were few and clearly defined by the Constitution. While the tension between the states and feds is a huge historical topic, it is by no means abstract or academic.
For example, how do you decide which background check will you require of a prospective employee?
In the twentieth century travel became much easier. Trains and cars allowed easy movement over state lines for masses of people, including criminals. Organizations like the FBI grew out of the Progressive era in the early 20th century. By the Prohibition era of the 1920s gangs were moving contraband freely across state and national borders. Along with the contraband, violent crime flowed just as freely across local jurisdictions. Increasing the power of federal agencies and enacting federal criminal laws became an easy sell.
The result today is there is a patchwork of crimes and criminal law. Some crimes are adjudicated in state courts, some in federal and some in both. Now with the internet along with even easier travel, criminal jurisdictions become even more blurry.
We strongly recommend federal criminal searches for employees in finance, medical or transportation positions, as well as for companies contracting with government agencies.
While we recommend federal searches for the above positions, you may have circumstances that would dictate a federal search even if you don’t fit on the list.
BOLT Staffing automatically runs state background checks as part of our service to our clients. However, if you have any reason to require a federal check please let your recruiter know and we will be happy to accommodate you.


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