The Fair Credit Reporting Act

What does it mean to be FCRA Compliant?

The FCRA defines a background check as a consumer report. Before an employer can get a consumer report for employment purposes, they must notify you in writing and get your written consent.   If an employer decides not to hire you because of your report, they must give you a pre-adverse action disclosure that includes a copy of the report and a copy of your rights. They must then give you notice that they have decided not to hire you and let you know the name and address of Consumer Reporting Agency and information on your right to dispute the report.  

While it is important to protect the rights of our employers and organizations, it is equally as important to respect our laws that protect the rights of the consumers.  

The FCRA spells out the rights consumers have with respect to the background reports prepared by Credit Reporting Agencies (CRA), including the right to dispute the accuracy of the reports and CRA’s obligations to reinvestigate such inaccuracies.

The FCRA describes the obligations employers have to provide notice to consumers if information in the background report is going to be used adversely against them. And finally, the FCRA spells out the responsibilities of the CRA’s when preparing and providing such background reports for a limited purpose such as employment or tenancy.

The regulations governing the actions of professional background screeners as well as end-users are spelled out in the FCRA and A Summary of Your Rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act and the Notice to Users of Consumer Reports: Obligation of Users under the FCRA.  

Background Screening, when conducted by a Consumer Reporting Agency, is highly regulated including by the Federal Trade Commission and the consumer Financial Protection Bureau as well as state and local consumer protection laws.

In addition the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is active in this space and just last year issued revised enforcement guidance on the use of criminal background checks for employment screening purposes, which is directed toward employers who use such reports.  

TeamSafe is a member of the National Association of Professional Background Screeners. Our TeamSafe professionals will get you started in 5 easy steps.  

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