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您的背景调查提供商是否遵守 FCRA 的 3 项关键规定?

公平信用报告法》(FCRA)是一项美国联邦法律,旨在保护消费者报告(例如信用报告和犯罪记录)中信息的准确性和隐私性。作为雇主,您可以通过第三方背景调查提供商获取用于就业目的的消费者报告。

背景调查提供者(称为“消费者报告机构”或“CRA”)根据 FCRA 承担多项责任。符合 FCRA 的信誉良好的 CRA 将帮助您以合法、彻底和公平的方式访问您需要的筛选信息,这些方式对作为消费者报告主题的个人(例如求职者)而言。

您的背景调查提供商是否致力于保持最高水平的 FCRA 合规性?一种检查方法是询问您的背景调查提供商他们如何遵守 FCRA 的这 3 项关键规定:

1. 遵守不良报告指南
FCRA 限制了 CRA 可以向其客户(例如雇主)提供的不利信息的范围。在大多数情况下,CRA 仅限于报告不超过 7 年的不利信息,但可能会报告破产 10 年,并且可能无限期地报告刑事定罪。其他州法律也可能限制 CRA 可以报告的信息。

除了 CRA 必须遵守的一般报告限制外,FCRA 还对 CRA 施加了一些特定的报告限制,这些限制可能适用于筛选报告中的某些类型的信息。首先,当筛选报告中的信息包含可能对申请人/雇员的就业机会产生不利影响的公共记录事项时,CRA 必须:

  1. 通知申请人信息正在被报告,并向申请人提供在向用户报告公共记录信息时向其提供报告的用户(例如雇主或潜在雇主)的姓名和地址,或

  2. 保持严格的程序,以确保此类公开信息是完整和最新的。如果信息是报告时项目的当前公共记录状态,则该信息被视为最新信息。

第二种特定限制适用于被视为“调查性消费者报告”的信息。调查性消费者报告是一份消费者报告,其中包含通过与申请人的朋友、邻居、同事或其他人的个人访谈获得的信息——例如在参考调查期间可能获得的信息类型。根据 FCRA,CRA 不能报告不利的消费者调查报告信息,除非:

  1. CRA 已遵循合理的程序来确认来自具有独立和直接信息知识的额外来源的信息,或

  2. 受访者是信息的最佳来源。

2. 支持消费者提出披露和争议的权利
您的就业筛选提供者必须确保申请人和员工有权:

  1. 从 CRA 获得“文件披露”,以及

  2. 对 CRA 维护的文件中信息的完整性或准确性提出异议。

3. 遵守“处置规则”
当提供商处置“消费者信息”时(例如,切碎、焚烧或粉碎文件,以及销毁或清除电子媒体)。“消费者信息”是指任何来自或源自消费者报告的关于个人的任何记录(以任何格式),包括记录汇编、消费者档案中的手写笔记等。

您如何判断您的背景调查提供商是否符合 FCRA 标准?一种方法是首先询问他们如何满足 FCRA 的这 3 项关键规定。

Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is a United States federal law that protects the accuracy and privacy of the information found in consumer reports, such as credit reports and criminal histories. As an employer, you may obtain consumer reports for employment purposes through a third-party background check provider.

The background check provider (known as a “consumer reporting agency” or “CRA”) has a number of responsibilities under the FCRA. A reputable CRA that complies with the FCRA will help you to access the screening information that you need in a manner that’s legal, thorough and fair to the individual who is the subject of a consumer report, such as a job applicant.

Is your background check provider committed to maintaining the highest level of compliance with the FCRA? One way to check is to ask your background check provider how they comply with these 3 key provisions of the FCRA:

1. Abide by Adverse Reporting Guidelines
The FCRA limits the scope of adverse information that a CRA can provide to its customers (e.g., employers). In most cases, the CRA is limited to reporting adverse information for no more than 7 years, although bankruptcies may be reported for 10 years and criminal convictions may be reported indefinitely. Additional state laws may also limit the information that can be reported by a CRA.

In addition to the general reporting restrictions with which a CRA must comply, the FCRA also imposes some specific reporting restrictions on the CRA that may be applicable to certain types of information in the screening report. First, when the information in the screening report contains matters of public record that are likely to have an adverse effect on the applicant/employee’s employment opportunities, the CRA must either:

  1. Notify the applicant that the information is being reported and give the applicant the name and address of the user (e.g., employer or prospective employer) to whom the report is being provided at the time the public record information is reported to the user, OR

  2. Maintain strict procedures designed to ensure that such public information is complete and up-to-date. Information is considered up-to-date if it is the current public record status of the item at the time of the report.

The second type of specific restriction applies to information that is considered an “investigative consumer report”. An investigative consumer report is a consumer report that contains information that is obtained through personal interviews with the applicant’s friends, neighbors, colleagues or other persons – such as the type of information that might be obtained during a reference check. Under the FCRA, a CRA cannot report adverse investigative consumer report information unless either:

  1. The CRA has followed reasonable procedures to confirm the information from an additional source with independent and direct knowledge of the information, OR

  2. The person interviewed is the best possible source of the information.

2. Support Consumer’s Right to File Disclosures and Disputes
Your employment screening provider must ensure that applicants and employees have the right to:

  1. Obtain a “file disclosure” from the CRA, and

  2. Dispute the completeness or accuracy of the information in their file that is maintained by the CRA.

3. Follow the “Disposal Rule”
Your background check provider must take “reasonable measures” to protect against unauthorized access to or use of “consumer information” when the provider disposes of it (e.g., shredding, burning or pulverizing papers, and destruction or erasure of electronic media). “Consumer information” means any record (in any format) about an individual which is or is derived from a consumer report, including compilations of records, handwritten notes in a consumer file, etc.

How can you tell that your background check provider is FCRA-compliant? One way is to first ask them how they meet these 3 key provisions of the FCRA.