The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is generally known for protecting consumers from credit report errors, but did you know the FCRA protects employees too?  The FCRA is often implicated in the employment context when an employer, or potential employer, performs a background check when making its decision to hire, retain or promote the employee.

To comply with the FCRA, the employer requesting the background report from a consumer reporting agency must:

(1) clearly, accurately and in writing, its intent to obtain the background report to the employee or applicant;

(2) obtain authorization from the employee or applicant to request the background report;

(3) give the employee or applicant a pre-adverse action notice if the employer plans to take an adverse action based on the information contained in the background report (such as not hire you, or not promote you); and

(4) provide the employee or applicant with an adverse action notice after taking the adverse action.

As of January 1, 2013, the FCRA required employers to provide an updated “A Summary of Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act” to employees or applicants when the employer provides the pre-adverse action notice.

Employers may have to pay employees and applicants money damages if they do not comply with the FCRA.  For example, if the employer willfully (recklessly disregards ) violates the FCRA, then the employee or applicant may be entitled to statutory damages of $100 to $1,000 per violation.  If the employer negligently violates the FCRA, then it may have to pay employees or applicants their actual damages (such as lost wages, emotional anguish, mental distress, etc…).

FCRA cases may be brought individually, or as class actions, to force them to comply with federal law.  Successful plaintiffs will also be entitled to costs and attorneys’ fees.

Have you applied for employment and been denied because of a background report?  Did the employer giver you notice of the background report before telling you that you did not get the job?  Did you get a copy of the background report?  Did the background report have errors?  Contact FCRA attorneyMicah Adkins 24/7 at 1-800-263-9091 for a free case review.

FREE CASE REVIEW 1-800-263-9091