What is the Fair Credit Reporting Act?

When a person is applying for a new job, in addition to being subjected to a series of interviews and performance-related tests, it is likely that he or she will also be subjected to background checks.

These background checks are supposed to give an insight into the general character of the potential employee, and they can provide an early warning system that will highlight any red flags that employers might want to know about before they commit to hiring someone.

However, engaging in such checks could be interpreted as an invasion of privacy when it comes to delving too much into a person’s life. It may be considered as discriminatory and unfair, making it difficult for a person that may have had some challenges in the past to be able to improve his or her life and contribute to society.

What protections does the Fair Credit Reporting Act provide?

The Fair Credit Reporting Act requires employers to abide by certain regulations so that such background checks are fair to all. The employer must provide the applicant written notice telling him or her that the employer intends to conduct a background check.

In addition, the employer must obtain explicit written permission from the applicant before conducting a background check. The employer is not able to carry out such checks without the applicant’s express permission. The employer is also prohibited from discriminating based on this information, and are not able to misuse it in any way.

If you believe that an employer infringed on the Fair Credit Reporting Act, then it is important that you take action to enforce your rights.

Source: FindLaw, “Employment Background Checks and the Fair Credit Reporting Act,” accessed March 30, 2018

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