For the last few years, I have been working as a programmer for a Massachusetts-based retailer. This has been a long term contract role through a staffing firm. The staffing firm has been paying me as a sole proprietor (so it is like a corp-to-corp contract).
I recently applied for another company and received a formal offer from them, contingent on passing the background checks. The new job pays less than what my actual contract rate has been but it provides benefits (like somewhat cheaper health insurance than what I could get from Mass Health Connector) plus vacation and sick time.
My would-be-new employer uses a third party company for the background checks. This third party sent me a link to a website where they asked me to provide information about my past employers, education, and so on.
I do not have any concerns about them checking my background, but I was curious on why the background check company asked me provide copies of my pay stubs and W2 "to prove the dates of employment at my current place of employment".
I asked them if they would accept a letter of recommendation from my current manager because that would have the dates of employment, they replied with that acceptable forms of documentation include W2, 1099, and latest pay stub.
As a side-note, I had already provided the hourly rate of my current job (it is around typical market rate) to my new employer during my first interview. The new employer also has already told me how much they would be willing to pay me in salary.
If the purpose of that third-party company is really just to "prove the dates of employment", why do they insist of pay-related documents?
And can they not get my pay information from the staffing firm? Or is that something that staffing firms may not give out?
(I mean it is not like I am applying for credit somewhere, and the new job does not require any clearances nor is it with any financial institution. The new employer said that they expect the background check to take less than a week, so it does not look like they are going through a lot of stuff.)