FCRAA growing number of companies are realizing the need for due diligence with respect to background checks for new staff. A thorough background check, as discussed in our recent blog post, often requires the investigation of credit report and financial information. However, not all companies that provide such information are reputable and reliable.

A recent Fair Credit Reporting Act settlement is of interest to companies and recruiters who may use the services of Certegy Check Services Inc., as part of their background check process. Cetergy, one of the largest check authorization service companies, was ordered to pay $3.5 million in fines by the Federal Trade Commission on August 15, 2013. The company was charged with violating credit reporting laws.

Certain retailers buy the services provided by Cetergy to evaluate a consumer’s risk when they present a check at a point of sale location and, depending on the information provided by Cetergy, that check can either be accepted or denied by the retailer. However, Cetergy, according to the Federal Trade Commission, did not provide accurate data with respect to consumers and, additionally, failed to report when the information that they provided to retailers was incorrect and failed to adequately manage consumer disputes.

Cetergy was ordered to pay $3.5 million in fines and, consistent with the Fair Trading Reporting Act, Cetergy was ordered to enable consumers to obtain copies of any reports that Cetergy might provide to a third party.  The company was also ordered to comply with the following requirements:

  • To deliver a copy and obtain a signed acknowledgement of the settlement to current and future Cetergy principals, directors, personnel, agents and representative for the next three years;
  • To submit a compliance report to the Federal Trade Commission within 180 days;
  • To notify the Federal Trade Commission of any changes in structure that may affect its compliance with the settlement for ten years;
  • To create certain records such as accounting and personnel records for 10 years, and retain each record created for five years, and
  • To submit compliance reports to the Federal Trade Commission.

To conduct accurate background checks and to ensure a reliable staffing process that does not violate any legal policies, please contact Hire Standard Staffing. We can provide professional staffing services that will save you time and staff that will improve your business.