FTC Issues ‘Advice’ on Background Check Disclosure and Authorization Forms

The Fair Credit Reporting Act’s (FCRA) hyper-technical disclosure and authorization requirements are competing with compliance of criminal background check laws as a source of litigation risk for employers. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently released the blog, “Background checks on prospective employees: Keep required disclosures simple,” which offers little help to employers in terms of providing specific details rather than broad generalizations. Where the FTC recommends “keeping it simple,” the FCRA directs employers to make a “clear and conspicuous” written disclosure to the job applicant in a document that consists “solely” of the disclosure. The topic has been the impetuous for dozens of nationwide class action lawsuits across the nation. Employers are encouraged to conduct a thorough assessment of current background screening processes.

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