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Job Opportunities Use of Arrest & Conviction Records in Employment Background Investigations

Employment background investigations frequently include arrest and conviction record information. Currently in Wisconsin and under Federal law, there is generally no limit to how old a conviction record can be to include it in an employment background investigation. State laws can vary. However, Federal law does prohibit a consumer reporting agency, as defined by the Fair Credit Reporting Act, from reporting an arrest record that is more than 7 years old.

§ 605. Requirements relating to information contained in consumer reports [15 U.S.C. §1681c]

(a) Information excluded from consumer reports. Except as authorized under subsection

(b) of this section, no consumer reporting agency may make any consumer report containing any of the following items of information:

* * *

(2) Civil suits, civil judgments, and records of arrest that from date of entry, antedate the report by more than seven years or until the governing statute of limitations

has expired, whichever is the longer period.

Wisconsin law also prohibits generally discrimination in employment based on arrest or conviction records. See our page on this website discussing these rights: Arrest or Conviction Record Discrimination