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Complying with the FCRA Amendments Before January 1, 2013 – a Step-By-Step Guide

By now, you should know that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has issued “Guidance on the Consideration of Arrest and Conviction Records in Employment Decisions”, which is designed to restrict criminal background checks by employers, but you may not know that enforcement responsibility for the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) has been transferred from the Federal Trade Commission to the recently created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). What this means for employers is that they should expect heightened scrutiny on their FCRA compliance. The FCRA requires employers who use CRA’s to do their background checks to go through a four-step process, using federally-mandated forms. The four steps are: Step 1. Certification to the Consumer Reporting Agency; Step 2. Notice and Authorization from the Applicant; Step 3. Pre-Adverse Action Protocol; Step 4. Adverse Action Protocol. One of the CFPB’s first steps in its role as chief enforcer of the FCRA, was to revise that forms which employers must use, effective January 1, 2013. Make sure to get your forms ready and keep an eye on your state’s laws on this issue, including “ban the box” laws.

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