Did You Know That Your Job Applicants and Employees May Be “Consumers” Under FCRA?


Sep 26

Do you hire or fire based on criminal background checks, credit reports or other “consumer” reports? We usually think about the Fair Credit Report Act (FCRA) regarding consumer credit, but did you know that your employees and job applicants can be considered consumers under new regulations for FCRA that went into effect on September 21st?

Ostensibly, the new regulations are meant to require credit reporting agencies to provide free security freezes to protect against identity thieves. However, you must now provide applicants and employees with a Summary of Consumer Rights notice that includes information on the availability of a security freeze if you are using these third-party reports as part of your personnel practices. Don’t forget that you must give a standalone document to the applicant or employee disclosing your intent to obtain the report for employment purposes, and secure the applicant’s or employee’s signed authorization BEFORE requesting the report.

The rules can be complicated so checkout CFPB’s press release and related links here At the very least, start using CFPB’s revised model Summary of Consumer Rights available here.