What privacy rights does a job applicant have under the Fair Credit Reporting Act?

Author: Jessica Sussman

Under the FCRA, the employer must make a clear and conspicuous written disclosure to the applicant or employee before the report is obtained, and attain written authorization from the applicant or employee. The employer also must certify to the consumer reporting agency that the employer obtained authorization to review the credit report, and informed the individual that the information contained in the report would not be used in violation of federal or state law.

Finally, the employer must provide advance notice to the employee or applicant before taking any adverse action based on the report, and provide applicants with copies of the report and a summary of their rights under the FCRA. If the employer does not hire a third party to conduct the background check, however, the FCRA will not apply.