Does a Name Change Affect an Employee Background Check?

by Madison Hawthorne; Updated September 26, 2017
Businessperson writing on paperwork

Companies and small businesses are increasingly performing background checks on potential employees to make a better, more-informed decision in the hiring process. These background checks depend on the type of job the employee is interviewing for and the relevancy of this need. Background checks typically include criminal reports, credit reports and bankruptcies. An employee background check may reflect a name change.

Employee Background Check

What is included as part of an employee background check is often determined between the employer and what the agency performing the background check agree upon. Background checks can provide valuable information in regards to hiring individuals working in areas where accountability is needed, such as accounting or with financial statements, as it may reflect the ability for a potential employee to succeed. Talk with the agency performing the background check for your potential employees to talk about appropriate options.

Antidiscriminatory Practices

Employees who change their name should disclose this information to an employer, if appropriate and relevant. Some job applications may also ask whether the applicant has a former name and ask his to disclose this information. Names may tell a lot about an employee. For instance, Hispanics may hold distinctive names that reflect their heritage. Employers should not use information gathered from the background check exclusively based on a name change to disqualify an applicant.

Sensitive Employment Organizations

Employers who are seeking candidates who will work with vulnerable populations at a hospital or school will likely perform more-extensive background checks. Companies that work with children may also perform more-extensive background checks. These checks may include sexual offenses and an extensive criminal background check. It is likely a name change may be reflected on these records. Some individuals who have committed criminal acts may change their name, and since an employer uses Social Security numbers to perform these checks, it is possible this name change will be reflected on the background check.

Considerations

Background checks may provide different information based on the method of research and what company the business hires to perform this background check. It is not guaranteed a name change will show up on a background check but is likely it will. State and federal agencies, such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation will have access to more in-depth databases, which may match thumbprints to the potential employee in question. These reports will likely reflect name changes.

About the Author

Madison Hawthorne holds a bachelor's degree in creative writing, a master's degree in social work and a master's degree in elementary education. She also holds a reading endorsement and two years experience working with ELD students. She has been a writer for more than five years, served as a magazine submission reviewer and secured funding for a federal grant for a nonprofit organization. Hawthorne also swam competitively for 10 years and taught for two years.

Photo Credits

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