FCRA Compliance

Compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is a necessity often overlooked by businesses, especially by those businesses or employment agencies conducting background screenings in-house. By not complying with the FCRA, these businesses are increasing their liability and more importantly, not protecting consumer’s rights.

Many feel the FCRA applies only to credit reports. This is simply not the case. It does apply to third parties assembling information bearing on an individual’s credit worthiness, standing or capacity. However, it also applies to information being collected on an individual that reflects their character, general reputation, personal characteristics, or mode of living as defined by the FCRA.

The FCRA exists to protect the privacy rights of consumers. Compliance with the FCRA may appear complicated, but in reality it is not. Screen Assist and our clients work as a team to comply with all aspects of the FCRA.

Compliance with the FCRA requires Screen Assist to provide documentation to new clients. These documents include:

FCRA Flow Chart

FCRA Compliance Summary

As required by the FCRA, before a background screening is conducted, a subject must be given disclosure that a background screening will be conducted and sign an authorization. It is recommended that a disclosure and authorization are separate documents and that no language that diminishes the importance of each form appear on the form.

In the event that an end user discovers derogatory information within the consumer report that leads them to not want to move forward in the process, the end user must send them a copy of the report, “A Summary of Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act”, and a “pre-adverse letter/notification“. The purpose of this document is to inform the subject of the content of the consumer report (background screening) and give them reasonable time to dispute its content.

If a subject disputes the content of the consumer report (background screening), Screen Assist must redo the background screening. The FCRA specifies the background screening must be redone within 30 days. If Screen Assist finds information to the contrary the original report will be amended with the new information.

If the consumer does not dispute the content of the consumer report (background screening) and a reasonable period of time has passed, the end user must send the subject an “adverse action letter/notification“.