What is your Consumer Reporting Agency (CRA) doing with criminal conviction records discovered in a database search? A CRA has two options under the Fair Credit Reporting Act(FCRA). https://www.preemploymentscreen.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Fair-Credit-Reporting-Act-FTC-Federal-Trade-Commission.pdf
15 U.S.C. § 1681k(a) provides as follows: A consumer reporting agency which furnishes a consumer report for employment purposes and which for that purpose compiles and reports items of information on consumers which are matters of public record and are likely to have an adverse effect upon a consumer’s ability to obtain employment shall—
(1) at the time such public record information is reported to the user of such consumer report, notify the consumer of the fact that public record information is being reported by the consumer reporting agency, together with the name and address of the person to whom such information is being reported; or
(2) maintain strict procedures designed to insure that whenever public record information, which is likely to have an adverse effect on a consumer’s ability to obtain employment, is reported it is complete and up to date. For purposes of this paragraph, items of public record relating to arrests, indictments, convictions, suits, tax liens, and outstanding judgments shall be considered up to date if the current public record status of the item at the time of the report is reported.
Lawsuit against verified credentials, the plaintiffs alleged that the CRA did neither of the above. That resulted in the Defendant CRA firm agreeing to pay $1.4 million to settle a class action lawsuit.
In our discussions with companies, many times we are told that the provider is providing criminal conviction very quickly. When we hear this, we know that the screening provider is merely providing information from a multi-jurisdictional database.
The law provides communication in accord with the first bullet above. We believe this is neither fair to the company requesting the report nor to the applicant. We consider this to be a shortcut in handling potentially adverse information.
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Randisi & Associates, Inc. is a member of Concerned CRAs, a background check consumer protection group with 200 members. Consumer Reporting Agencies (CRAs) that participate in Concerned CRAs pledge to verify the accuracy of information provided and avoid offshoring Americans’ personal information. We never use databases as a primary source of information only to report what is in the database to the consumer. To learn more, visit http://www.concernedcras.com/.