Employment Background Screening, Credentialing, FCRA, EEOC, Background Check, Criminal, Civil, Vetting, Global Sanctions, Global Screening

Employers Beware: Have You Checked Your Background Screening Authorization Forms?

Recent class action lawsuits have found more than one major employer violating FCRA requirements regarding the authorization forms (or lack thereof) supplied to their candidates. To name a few, there have been lawsuits filed against the following:

ESA Management LLC, which operates Extended Stay America hotels in the U.S.
Whole Foods Grocery Chain
Swift Transportation Company

The lawsuits, while individual to each company, all revolved around the disclosure forms supplied to the candidate for the administration of their employment background screens. This led to allegations that the companies obtained background check reports on job applicants without their authorization, which is in violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

To avoid these types of lawsuits and to be compliant with FCRA regulations, employers need to be mindful of the following items when conducting background screens on potential or existing candidates.

• Supply written disclosure stating that a background check report may be obtained for employment purposes

• Ask for written authorization to obtain the background check report.

• Supply the statement on a separate page of the application that consists only of the disclosure and authorization as required under the FCRA.

The Cedalius Group offers insight into the background screening industry for educational purposes.  We always recommend you consult with your legal counsel to determine practices that best suit your business needs.

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