One free method for checking employment history is to contact previous employers. The human resources department or hiring manager should have records concerning dates of employment. Past employers may be willing to confirm how long an employee worked with a company.
A second free method is to look through prior W2 tax records, which include employer's names, pay periods and tax information that can be used to estimate employment dates. Old resumes also provide a quick overview of places of employment, years worked and job descriptions. An additional search avenue is to contact various credit reporting agencies. Some credit reports include employment information, and most credit reporting companies provide consumers with one free report per 12-month period.
If these free methods aren't sufficient, the U.S. Department of Social Security provides potential employers with prior employment history for a nominal fee. Individuals can download the Request for Social Security Information form from the department's website, select the Itemized Statement of Earnings category and fill out the date information that covers the desired time period. This form asks for a legal name, social security number and date of birth. The agency requires 120 days to process the request after it is submitted.