Credit Reports and Employment Background Screening

One of the Federal Trade Commission’s (“FTC”) roles is to protect job applicants and employees against inaccurate information being reported to employers; because employers can access your credit report to make decisions regarding hiring, firing, promotion, reassignment, or retention. In addition to financial history, the consumer reports provided to employers consist of arrests, convictions, judgments, and bankruptcies. Recently, settlements have been reached in legal actions that have been brought against companies like Spoekeo, Inc. and HireRight Solutions, Inc. for failure to take reasonable measures to ensure the accuracy of consumer reports. Such failures resulted in inaccurate criminal history, belonging to someone other than the actual consumer being reported as if it was relating to the individual the report was requested for. Other failures included noncompliance with the FCRA rules and not ensuring the reports were used for only purposes provided by the law.

Failures to abide by the law may lead to unfavorable action taken against the subject of the report. This problem is not new nor is it being ignored. The FTC recently issued a Report stating that: “we intend to continue to work in this critical area.” The report served as written testimony to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and details the legal rights of the consumer.

Being denied due to erroneous or incomplete information is not that uncommon. If you have been subject to unfavorable action due to inaccurate or incomplete information being reported on your credit report, consider seeking legal counsel.

G. John Cento