Claims Against Employers
Whether a potential employer performs a background check in
order to qualify someone for a job, or a current employer performs
one to consider one for a promotion, the potential employer has
legal obligations to the applicant. These obligations can be found
in the Fair Credit Reporting Act. A failure to follow these
regulations can render the employer liable to the applicant. Here
is what an employer must do when performing a background check for
> The employer must provide a form to you that discloses
that a background report will be obtained and reviewed.
That is, the employer must provide something in writing of which
the applicant is entitled to have a copy, that warns of the fact
that a background report will be run. This disclosure form must
only make the disclosure and can have no other language on it. The
employer CANNOT have language on the form that says that they, or
anyone else, will not be held liable for a report that contains
incorrect information. They also cannot have the applicant sign
away any rights they may have under the law on that form.
> If the employer receives negative information about the
applicant that may cause them to refuse the application, then
before they reject the application, they must provide a copy of the
report that was reviewed, and instruct the applicant on how to
dispute any information that is inaccurate.
The employer cannot just turn someone down and not show you why.
A person is entitled to know why, to see why, and to go dispute the
incorrect information. If the information gets removed, there is
still a chance to get the job.
> If the employer determines that they do not want to hire
the person based upon the report, they must say so in writing, and
provide the reasons for the rejection in writing.
When adverse action is taken on a consumer report, such as a
background report, the employer must provide notice in writing that
either states the reasons for the rejection or provides direction
on how to obtain those reasons. The employer must also disclose the
name of the company that provided the background information on
you, provide the address, and provide information that advises of a
person's rights to a free background report from that company, and
how to dispute the information on the report, if it is