I accepted an academic job offer, and was asked to consent to a background check 3 weeks ago. I filled out and submitted the online forms immediately. I followed up a week later, and was told that it normally takes up to two weeks to complete the process, but that there was going to be some delays because of COVID-19.
Last week someone from HR followed up and asked me to submit a manual release for a background check (sign by hand) - it seemed that one of my former employers required that for a reference check.
Since then, nothing.
I've been feeling nervous about this background check from the beginning, for a number of reasons:
1) COVID-19 and the impact on employment; I keep worrying they'll find some flimsy excuse to rescind their offer, like not being able to conduct a proper background check because universities are shut down.
2) I'm afraid of what one of my former employers may say. Context: my previous (but not current) job was a TA at a university where I did my PhD. My records as both student and employee are spotless. However, I filed an HR complaint against a professor for abusive behavior, and when word got out about the "confidential" investigation, everyone either ostracized me or gave me hell. I didn't do anything wrong, but I'm afraid they (will) have contacted someone who might want to trash me.
3) New worry: it just occurred to me that I left off a job when I was listing previous employment for the background check, and now I'm worried they'll have noticed and will see that as a red flag or something. In my defense, it was a part-time teaching gig. One semester, one class, and it was alongside my primary job while I was doing my PhD (actually, I think I accidentally blocked out the memory of it because that whole time period was so traumatic for me).
These concerns have been giving me a lot of anxiety as time goes by (not made easier by the fact that my current position is being eliminated at the end of the semester). I know that things just generally move slower in academics, and COVID-19 is making things go even slower...but 3 weeks still feels like a long time. Should I check in again with my new employer's HR? Leave it alone and wait it out a bit longer?