Why is ESS Asking About My Applicant's Expected Annual Salary?

The federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (or FCRA) allows ESS to report any criminal conviction, regardless of its age. Pursuant to industry standard, ESS typically reports pending criminal cases and felony and misdemeanor convictions for the seven years preceding the date of the request for a report.

We usually calculate the reportability of convictions from the date of disposition, end of the sentencing term, or end of the probation term, whichever event occurs last. However, certain states have expanded restrictions for consumer reporting beyond those of the FCRA. In these states (shown below) ESS may not report criminal records with convictions that occurred outside of the last seven years unless:

  1. The actual release date from prison or parole is confirmed to be within the last seven years; or
  2. The subject consumer (or applicant) is expected to make an annual salary that satisfies that specific state’s requirement.

In some states, ESS can verify release dates with the relevant state’s Department of Corrections, but in other states, this information is not readily available. For those states where release dates are not available, ESS will reach out to our customer to obtain salary expectation information. Typically, we will contact the customer three times on three consecutive business days in attempt to obtain the information. If these attempts are unsuccessful, we will complete the search without reporting the record in question – though any otherwise reportable records will be included on the report. If our customer confirms that the salary threshold is expected to be met, we will report the record according to our normal reporting procedures.

State Salary Thresholds:

  • Kansas - $20,000
  • Maryland - $20,000
  • New Hampshire - $20,000
  • New York - $25,000
  • Washington - $20,000
This publication is provided only for educational purposes; it should not be relied upon as legal advice, and it should not be used, in whole or in part, as a basis for establishing employment practices or policies, nor should it be used for resolving disputes or managing risk. Every reader’s circumstances are unique and legal advice should be obtained only from a lawyer with whom the reader has established an attorney-client relationship. Copyright 2021 ©Employment Screening Services, LLC. All material contained within this publication is protected by copyright law and may not be reproduced without the express written consent of ESS.

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