Background checks are a critical part of the hiring process, but noncompliance with various laws, such as the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), can lead to hefty fines for employers. The FCRA is a federal law intended to protect consumers by ensuring the accuracy and fairness of “consumer reports,” however, it only governs information from a Consumer Reporting Agency (CRA). It does not govern background checks conducted in-house by an employer. In-house checks still must comply with any state laws or personal privacy laws. Employers should keep in mind that searches conducted in-house may lead to information that could create exposure to discrimination or retaliation claims.