Employer Alert: New Fair Credit Reporting Act Summary of Consumer Rights Form Required for Background Checks

Beginning September 21, 2018, employers must use the newly issued model Summary of Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act form (or their own form based on the model) when providing the required written notice to an employee or a job applicant that a background check will be conducted.  The revised federal form is also required if an employer plans to take adverse action against an employee or applicant based on the report.

 

The revised form includes notification of the newly granted right under the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act passed by Congress in May 2018, allowing a consumer to obtain a security freeze on his or her credit report.  The freeze would prohibit a consumer reporting agency from releasing information in the consumer’s credit report without the consumer’s express authorization.

 

California employers should keep in mind that federal requirements under the FRCA are in addition to, and do not preempt, California state law requirements under the California Investigative Consumer Reporting Agencies Act and the California Consumer Credit Reporting Agencies Act.  Further, California employers must comply with Labor Code section 1024.5 which prohibits the use of consumer credit reports for employment purposes except for certain positions, as well as state and local laws on the use of criminal background checks.

 

The new model form in both English and Spanish can be found here.

 

 

The author would like to gratefully acknowledge the assistance of Joanne Warriner.

 

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