Question: Can people finder websites help me with checking out babysitters before I let them watch my kids?
Answer: To answer the first part of the question – yes, people finder websites can give you a ton of information about virtually anyone in the US, so they would probably cover a lot of the areas you might be interested to know about as it relates to a babysitter.
However, what many people don’t realize is that babysitters are considered by the federal government to be your employees (whether you think of them that way or not). Consequently, any actions you take – including using the people finder websites to screen them – falls under the regulations for employer-employee relationships.
Specifically, as it relates to people finder websites, you have to consider the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), which is a federal law that regulates the use of consumer information. Only FCRA compliant information can legally be used to make an employment decision – which includes babysitters. Most instant people finder websites are not Consumer Reporting Agencies and, consequently, do not provide FCRA compliant information, so you can’t legally use them to aid in your decision.
The good news is that there are proper employer background check websites you are permitted to use that are, if anything, even more extensive. Unfortunately, they are also more expensive and – in the case of an occasional babysitter that you’re only paying a nominal hourly wage to – it may be difficult to justify the cost involved.
The other thing to bear in mind is that the age of the person you’re searching does play a role in the information you’d be able to get from people finder websites. Most – if not all – people finder websites (including the official employee screening sites) don’t index information for people under 18, at a minimum.
So, if you’re trying to get information on a high-school-aged babysitter, people finder websites probably wouldn’t be your best bet anyway. Similarly, even if your prospective babysitter is over 18, but is still young, there’s unlikely to be much of a public records footprint, so the information might still be too limited to for your purposes (which is also true of the official employer background check free).
With all that in mind, there shouldn’t be any legal issues with running an instant public record background check on people related to/associated with your potential babysitter. For example, you could run a people search on your babysitters mother/father/significant other to try to get a sense of whether you’d like them potentially hanging around your child (and home). You can even start a people search for free below.
Bottom line: People finder websites may not be suitable for babysitters if they are under 18, but you can should be able to investigate your babysitter’s family to give you a sense of the person you’re inviting into your home.
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