Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) Violations

Were you wrongfully denied employment due to a background check? Or do you feel like you’re a victim of a Fair Credit Reporting Act violation?

Before any employer can conduct a background check constituting a “consumer report,” he or she must do several things to ensure compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”).

For example, an employer must tell the applicant that it might use information in the consumer report for decisions related to employment. The employer’s FCRA notice to the applicant must be in writing and in a stand-alone format. In fact, the FCRA notice cannot be in an employment application. Additionally, an employer needs written permission from the applicant or employee.


Under the FCRA employers cannot simply reject an applicant based on information in a background check without first giving the applicant a reasonable period of time to review the report and dispute the information.

In other words, as the applicant you are entitled to dispute the information contained in your background check before the employer takes any adverse action against you, including not hiring you. This notice is referred to as “pre-adverse notice” under the FCRA. The same notice must also be provided to current employees subjected to background checks affecting reassignments, promotions, and terminations.

Pre-Adverse Action Notice

A “pre-adverse action notice” informs people of their right to see information being reported about them and to correct inaccurate information. The notice must include the name, address, and phone number of the consumer reporting company that supplied the report; a statement that the company that supplied the report did not make the decision to take the unfavorable action and can’t give specific reasons for it; and a notice of the your right to dispute the accuracy or completeness of any information the consumer reporting company furnished, and to get an additional free report from the company if the person asks for it within 60 days.

If you have been requested to sign an improper disclosure form (form also contains a release) or denied employment without being given a summary of your rights or a copy of the background report, please contact me to discuss your options.