This blog post will go over some of the issues consumers may face during a background check. The aim is to educate consumers on what to expect when they need to undergo a background check steered by background check companies, and how to go about it.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is a federal legislation that aims to safeguard the truth, impartiality, and privacy of consumer credit bureau information. The law governs how credit reporting organizations acquire, access, utilize, and disclose the information included in your consumer reports.
A Summary of Your Rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act
If information in your file has been used against you, you must be informed: Anyone who uses a credit report or another type of consumer report to refuse your application for credit, insurance, or employment, or to take any other adverse action against you, must inform you and provide you with the name, address, and phone number of the entity that provided the information.
You have the right to know what information is in your file: The consumer has the right to know what information, including their credit score, is included in their consumer report. This information can be requested at any time (often once every 12 months), however it will be provided free of charge if the consumer is in any of the following situations:
- Someone has taken negative action against you as a result of information in your credit report;
- You have been the victim of identity theft, and a fraud alert has been placed on your file;
- As a result of fraud, your file contains erroneous information;
- You receive government help; and
- You are unemployed but plan to apply for work within the next 60 days.
Your file’s accessibility is restricted: A consumer reporting agency may release information on you only to those who have a legitimate need for it, such as a creditor, insurance, landlord, employment screening company, or other related companies. The FCRA identifies those who have a legitimate need for access.
You must grant your permission for reports to be forwarded to employers: A consumer reporting agency may not release information about you to a certain employment screening company or a future employer unless you provide the employer written approval. In most cases, written consent is not necessary in the trucking sector.
You have the right to challenge information that is missing or erroneous: If you find information in your file that is missing or incorrect and complain it to the consumer reporting agency, the agency must investigate unless your disagreement is frivolous.
Consumer reporting agencies must amend or remove erroneous, incomplete, or unverifiable information: In most cases, inaccurate, incomplete, or unverifiable information must be deleted or changed within 30 days. A consumer reporting agency, on the other hand, may continue to report material that it has validated as true.
You have the right to sue offenders for monetary compensation: You may be able to sue in state or federal court if a consumer reporting agency, or in some situations, a user of consumer reports or a furnisher of information to a consumer reporting agency, violates the FCRA.
The background check, which is normally led by background check companies, is frequently the final step done by employers to help assure a good hiring choice and safeguard the employer from a variety of possible risks, so you should also be aware of your rights during background checks.
Keeping the foregoing in mind, you may be confident that you are not infringing any laws during background checks. If you have questions or concerns about your rights and how they pertain to background checks, please feel free to contact us today for more information.