More companies are conducting background checks on potential employees and your hiring, or a promotion, may depend on the information that is revealed. Certain jobs require background checks by federal and state law such as teaching or government work. It is useful to be aware of your rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and how you can prepare for a background check. An employer may want to verify that they are hiring responsibly, that you have not committed child abuse, acts for terrorism, fraud, that your resume is valid, or that you do not have a pattern of irresponsible behavior such as driving while impaired. An overview of your rights follows:
- You must be informed if your credit report or another type of report has been used to deny you credit, insurance, or employment or similar services. The organization must inform you that you were denied and release the contact details for the company that provided the information.
- All consumers are entitled to a free annual disclosure that is available to a consumer reporting agency. If you have been denied a service because of bad credit, if you are a victim of identity theft, your file contains inaccurate information due to fraud, you are on welfare, or you are unemployed but will be job seeking within 60 days, you may request the information in your file.
- You have the right to ask for your credit score, which is a measure of your credit worthiness based on information from credit bureaus.
- You can dispute inaccurate information and should report it to the consumer reporting agency. The information must be corrected or deleted if unverifiable within 30 days.
- The hiring authority can determine how far back they wish to reach into a candidate’s background, and company policies vary.
- Access to your file is limited to those with a valid need such as creditors, insurers, employers, or landlords, and your consent is required for the information to be released to employers.
For more detailed information with respect to your rights of privacy, visit the Federal Trade Commission website at www.ftc.gov/credit. Please visit Hire Standard’s website to view our services for job seekers and the latest opportunities. Have additional questions? Contact us today to see how we can better assist you!