The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) regulates much more than the “credit report” or credit score you hear so much about. The FCRA offers valuable protections for employees (or applicants) when their personal information is used to make employment decisions. Were you wrongfully denied employment due to a background check? You may be a victim of a Fair Credit Reporting Act violation.
Before any employer can conduct a background check by obtaining a “consumer report,” the employer must do several things to ensure compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”).
For example, an employer must tell the applicant that such information in the consumer report may be used for decisions related to employment. The employer’s FCRA notice and consent by the employee to the applicant must be in writing and in a stand-alone format. In fact, the FCRA notice and consent by the employee cannot be buried in the fine print of an employment application. Additionally, an employer needs written permission from the applicant or employee to conduct the background check.
Your Right to Dispute Background Check Results
Under the FCRA employers cannot simply reject an applicant based on information in a background check without first giving the applicant a reasonable period of time to review the report and dispute the information.
In other words, as the applicant you are entitled to dispute the information contained in your background check before the employer takes any adverse action against you, including not hiring you. This notice is referred to as “pre-adverse notice” under the FCRA. The same notice must also be provided to current employees subjected to background checks affecting reassignments, promotions, and terminations.
Pre-Adverse Action Notice and Adverse Action Notice
A “pre-adverse action notice” informs an employee or applicant of the right to see information being reported to the employer in a consumer report and to correct inaccurate information. The notice must include a copy of the consumer report and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Summary of Rights. The employee must be given a reasonable time to respond to the report. A fairly accepted standard is to allow the employee five business days between the pre-adverse action notice and the adverse-action notice.
The “adverse action notice” must include the name, address, and phone number of the consumer reporting company that supplied the report; a copy of the consumer report; a statement confirming that the company supplying the report did not make the decision to take the unfavorable action and can’t give specific reasons for it; and a notice of the your right to dispute the accuracy or completeness of any information the consumer reporting company furnished, and to get an additional free report from the company if the person asks for it within 60 days.
Fair Credit Reporting Act Attorneys
If you have been wrongfully denied employment due to a background check, or you feel your FCRA rights have been violated, you may be able to seek damages and sue in state or federal court.
Why is Wenzel Fenton Cabassa, P.A. the best choice for the job? Our firm of dedicated law professionals works tirelessly on behalf of employees not employers. Our capable attorneys have earned their reputations as tough litigators who secure the best resolution and justice for our clients.
If you feel your rights have been violated, and your prospective employer or current employer has not complied with the Fair Credit Reporting Act, you’ll want to speak with a skilled credit protection lawyer. Contact Wenzel, Fenton, Cabassa P.A. today to schedule your free consultation.