I received a job offer (for a software engineer position at a small, remotely distributed company), verbally agreed to it on the phone, signed the offer, and then received a copy with the manager's signature.
At that point, a person from the human resources department of the company asked me to complete the first page of an I-9 form and also sign a document saying this:
Please read and sign this form in the space provided below. Your written authorization is necessary for completion of the application process.
I, ____________, hereby authorize [Company] to investigate my background and qualifications for purposes of evaluating whether I am qualified for the position for which I am applying. I understand that [Company] will utilize an outside firm or firms to assist it in checking such information, and I specifically authorize such an investigation by information services and outside entities of the company's choice. I also understand that I may withhold my permission and that in such a case, no investigation will be done, and my application for employment will not be processed further.
I don't have a criminal record or any financial troubles and can't think of anything about my "background" that I'd need to hide, but I strongly value privacy just out of principle and have these concerns:
- What am I allowing them to search? What are they wanting to do (or access) that they wouldn't be able to without my permission?
- Would they be legally required to keep their discoveries confidential?
- Would I be allowed to see the full results?
P.S. The offer letter says it's governed by the State of New York.