Friday, April 23, 2010

Employment Background Checks

Job applicants need to be aware that today more and more employers are conducting pre-employment background checks. With negligent hiring lawsuits on the rise, heightened attention to security and identity verification, increased incidents of resume fraud, plus the declining cost and increased access to personal data records, it is no surprise that companies are putting more focus on pre-employment background checks.

A Few Things to Consider Regarding Background Checks

The federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) sets the national standards for background checks; however, it is important to note that these standards only apply in cases where a prospective employer hires a consumer reporting agency to do the background check. This Act isn’t applicable if a company does the background check in house.

Here are a few things to consider about your rights under the FCRA:
Before a prospective employer can proceed in having a consumer report or credit check run for employment purposes, they must notify you in writing and obtain your written authorization.
If a prospective employer decides not to hire you based on the credit report information they must:

1.) Provide you with a pre-adverse action disclosure which includes a copy of the credit report and a copy of your consumer rights under the FCRA and
2.) Notify you with an adverse action notice after an adverse action has been taken.

You have a right to know what’s in your file.
You have a right to dispute incomplete or inaccurate information.
Consumer reporting companies must correct or delete incomplete, inaccurate and unverifiable information.

Examples of Information that May be in a Background Check

A background check through a consumer reporting agency may include everything from verifying your identify and employment history to looking at your credit history and driving record. Some of the public records that may be included in a background check are driving records, credit records, criminal records, past employers, property ownership, court records, and worker’s compensation.

Be Prepared

Knowing that many companies will conduct a background check on potential new hires is one more reason to make sure your resume accurately details your work and educational history. And despite whether you’re preparing for a prospective employer’s background check on you, in general, you should be aware of what information is in your credit report. In fact, as of September 2005 the FCRA grants you free access to your credit report once every 12 months, from each of the three nationwide reporting companies—Experian, Equifax and TransUnion.

For specific details about the Fair Credit Reporting Act, go to the Federal Trade Commission website. To verify your rights (or confirm you have accurately interpreted your legal rights under the FCRA) it is best to direct questions to State and Federal government resources and/or to seek legal counsel.

No comments:

Post a Comment