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Background Checks

Has anyone ever had the company that is conducting a background check on you, contact you via e-mail and ask for you to provide your most recent paycheck stub and your W2? I received an email from the company that is conducting my background check for a new job that I got and the said company asked for me to provide them either via email or phone, my most rent paycheck stub from my previous company and my 2015 W2. I've had numerous background checks done in the past and I've never had a company contact me to provide information to them so they can do my background check, it all caught me off guard quite a bit!


Karen Vorenkamp
Title: Controller
Company: PeachWorks Inc.
LinkedIn Profile
(Controller, PeachWorks Inc.) |

Yes, I have been asked. The background company asking for the information stated that they could not get anyone at my previous employer to answer their messages. Maybe this is the case for you. I provided the information they asked which included proof of start date and end date also and the background investigation was completed.

Topic Expert
Wayne Spivak
Title: President & CFO
LinkedIn Profile
(President & CFO, |

Requesting a W2 is such a silly request. Almost everyone who participates on this board can create a W2 or 1099 in 15 to 20 minutes.

It proves IMHO, nothing, except the company who is doing the background check is working in the 1950/1960's mentality (for those of us who have suffered through filling out an SF-86 should understand the silliness of the concept).

Anonymous User
Title: CFO
Company: Local Government Agency
(CFO, Local Government Agency) |

What does a W-2 have to do with a background check?

It's an income tax reporting document.

I confirm employment for employees pretty regularly. Usually by phone. Although, I'm not fond of doing that because, I have no way of assessing if the caller is legitimate. On the other hand, I don't want to stand on principle and derail an employee's attempt to obtain a loan or something. So, what I do, is limit to what I will tell a caller. For instance, if they want pay confirmation, I have them state the reported rate and I tell them whether that is what my records show or not. I won't state the employees pay rate unequivocally.

Pay stubs? Not going to happen.

Topic Expert
Scott MacDonald
Title: President/Owner
Company: AlphaMac Resources, Inc.
(President/Owner, AlphaMac Resources, Inc.) |

A W-2 is NOT part of a background check as currently defined. A background check is looking for criminal history.

What they are really doing is verifying your resume. Most reputable businesses in the US will only confirm you start and end dates. They should not reveal your salary. That would be highly unethical.

If they haven't made an offer to you, they are trying to see if they can low ball you on a salary offer. Very unprofessional.

I would run, not walk, away from this opportunity. What you made in your last job is none of their business. They need to pay you what your new job is worth, not what they can get away with based on your last salary.

If you still want to pursue, just tell the "background" company you have a confidentiality agreement with your current and past employers to keep salary info confidential.


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