The Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1681 (FCRA) is U.S. Federal Government legislation enacted to promote the accuracy, fairness, and privacy of consumer information contained in the files of consumer reporting agencies. It is the employer’s responsibility to be aware and follow the steps to be compliant.

Disclosure: The employee must be notified in writing that the background check is being conducted and may impact their eligibility for employment. This must be a stand-alone document separate from the application.

Authorization: The applicant must provide written content to the background check, again on a stand-alone document separate from the application or disclosure. If ongoing background checks are a condition of employment, the employer must specify in written policies.

What if I decide not to hire an applicant?

Pre-Adverse Action Letter:  When the decision is made not to hire an applicant based on information reported on their background check, the employer is required to provide written notice in the form of a Pre-Adverse Action Letter. In the letter the employer is required to give the applicant time to dispute information reported on the background check, along with a copy of the background report, a Summary of Rights and contact information for the Credit Reporting Agency (CRA).

Adverse Action Letter: If after the CRA investigation the decision is made not to hire the applicant the Adverse Action Letter must be sent along with a copy of the background report, a Summary of Rights and contact information for the Credit Reporting Agency (CRA).

National Background Investigations, Inc. makes it easier for employers to obtain applicant authorizations by offering electronically signed authorizations through applicant submission, keeping all paperwork on your computer and off your desk.

We recognize that with the constantly changing COVID-19 situation around the world, this is an unprecedented time for everyone — a time that, for many, is filled with uncertainty. Our hearts and thoughts go out to each and every one of you.

Our doors are open. I want you to know you have our commitment to continue providing you with the background screening services you depend on. Our senior leadership team remains vigilant and is monitoring the situation and will respond rapidly as changes in the industry and its access evolve.

Take a deep breath. We have heard it’s good for your mind as well as your lungs! For the most part it will be business as usual at National Background Investigations. Remember, this too shall pass.

Please be safe and stay healthy. Take care of yourselves and each other.

Best regards,

Ilene S. Ingber, Chief Executive Officer
National Background Investigations, Inc.