Many employers use background screening reports (which are also defined as consumer reports) to determine whether to hire an applicant. These background reports generally contain the criminal history of the applicant. But these background reports can also contain errors such as reporting that the applicant committed and/or has been convicted of crimes belonging to another person. (For more information about background screening reports used for housing applications, click here).
When a background screening report is used for employment purposes, the FCRA requires the CRA providing the background report and the employer using the background report to follow certain procedures.
If a CRA is going to prepare a background screening report that contains negative public record information (such as crimes or convictions), it must either notify the job applicant at the same time it issues the report, or maintain strict procedures to insure the information reported is complete and up to date.
If an employer plans on requesting your background screening report for employment purposes, the employer must inform you in a “clear and conspicuous disclosure” that a background report may be obtained for employment purposes and get your written authorization to allow the employer to obtain your report. Generally, this disclosure must be a “stand-alone” document (separate from all other documents provided to you).
An employer’s decision not to hire you cannot be made without first providing you with a copy of your background screening report and a summary of your rights informing you on how to dispute information contained in the report, if the report was used in whole or in part to make that decision.
If your background screening report was used to determine your eligibility for employment, please contact us for a free consultation.