Background Checks and the FCRA
Have you ever wondered how your organization can comply with the regulations mandated by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)? How can you do this and accomplish things without getting in hot water with the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau? Well, we here at Tru Diligence are glad you asked. Below you will find a list of 3 key considerations.
However, before we go over that list of considerations, a brief definition of the FCRA is in order.
According to Alison Doyle from The Balance Careers, the FCRA governs the specific ways in which employers may perform background checks in the hiring process and during one’s employment.
Now that we got that out of the way, on to the list of considerations.
Consideration#1: Have You Informed Job Applicants About What Types of Information Will Be Requested in the Background Check Report?
In order to successfully navigate the guidelines related to the FCRA, it is highly important to ensure that your organization discloses the information that will be requested. Under the FCRA, applicants have a right to know what information is checked before deciding to proceed with authorization. This must be put in writing and given to the applicant before the background check process can proceed.
Consideration#2: Has Your Organization Obtained Authorization From All Applicants Before Background Screening Takes Place?
It is required that your organization obtains written authorization from any applicants before proceeding with background checks. According to Ron Holland and Jonathan Batten from the Society for Human Resource Management, with this form of pre-authorization, it is mandatory that your organization also provide applicants with a stand-alone document that expressly states that a consumer report may be obtained for employment purposes during the hiring process. Informing the applicant of this information and obtaining written consent are crucial.
Consideration#3: Has Your Organization Notified the Applicant About What Rights They Have If They Decide to Dispute an Item That Was Found in the Report That Led to an Adverse Action?
Once consent is obtained and the background check completed, your organization must notify the applicant of any adverse action. Under the FCRA, the applicant must be given a copy of the consumer report and a summary of their rights if they choose to dispute anything. For example, if something is found in the report that was deemed inaccurate or incomplete.
Learn More About FCRA Compliance
Factoring in these considerations will help ensure that your organization is in compliance with the FCRA. Also, these can help your organization avoid being the target of undue lawsuits.
For more info on the FCRA and background checks, feel free to contact us.
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