F.C.R.A Compliance doesn’t have to be daunting. In fact, it’s pretty easy to stay on track when you have built in tools and guidance through your screening provider. If you’re not sure about your procedures, have new HR employees, or just need a refresher, give us a call. We’re here to help!

NEW and VERY IMPORTANT: Did you know…

A recent civil court action involving F.C.R.A. (Fair Credit Reporting Act) compliance as well as a Federal Trade Commission staff opinion letter have prompted our issuance of a strongly recommended update to our client’s “Adverse Action” procedures.

Our Recommendation: Once defined simply as “reasonable”, we are recommending that the allotted time between Pre-adverse Action Notifications and Final Adverse Action Notifications be at least five business days.

Quick Overview: For those who may not deal directly with the hiring/screening process or are simply unaware of how the F.C.R.A. regulates applicant background screening, here’s a quick overview…

Adverse Action is defined by the Federal Trade Commission as…”denying a job application, reassigning or terminating an employee, or denying a promotion” based on the results of a consumer report (background report). When such Adverse Action takes place, the proper steps must be taken for the protection of the applicant and the employer. You can view our summary guide, “Adverse Action Made Easy”, in the attached document. Or view the entire Fair Credit Reporting Act here.

The Bottom Line: Consider the fact that anything less than five days, win or lose, is being argued in court as less than reasonable.

The safe bet is to require your hiring managers to wait a minimum of five business days between the issuance of a Pre-Adverse Action Notification and the issuance of a Final Adverse Action Notification. This will allow the applicant more than sufficient time to dispute any negative findings in the background check directly with the reporting agency (SafeScreener), which is the purpose of this waiting period.

Also Important: In case you missed our last newsletter, be sure your applicant background check authorization form is always a stand-alone document. This is another simple, yet often overlooked, aspect of Fair Credit Reporting Act compliance. If your organization’s background check authorization is currently combined with your general employment application, (a paragraph on the last page for example) our suggested plan of action is to remove the text completely from the job application and utilize the SafeScreener.com applicant authorization form separately. Learn more about applicant authorization forms in our April Newsletter.

As always, if you have question on these F.C.R.A. compliance procedures or other matters, just e-mail your questions to contact@safescreener.com or call 888.578.8600 x113. We’re here to help!

Please note: Recommendations in regards to F.C.R.A Compliance and industry best practices issued by Background Screening Consultants LLC (SafeScreener.com) should not be regarded as or substituted for legal advice.