There’s power in numbers
In today’s competitive job market, employers often rely on criminal background checks and credit reports to help decide whether or not to hire a candidate for an open position. These reports obviously contain very sensitive personal information, and employers should use the utmost care in handling them. All too often, however, employers aren’t careful enough and violate federal law in the process.
What Is The FCRA?
The Fair Credit Reporting Act or FCRA mandates that employers follow rigid notice rules when they take action against a current employee (such as denying a promotion or firing) or deny a job to a potential new hire based upon a criminal background check or credit report. Each instance of a violation carries a steep penalty. Employers found in violation of these law can be required to pay actual damages, punitive damages, and a statutory penalty of up to $1,000 for each instance of wrongdoing. Some of the most common violations of the FCRA include:
Prior To Running A Background Check:
- Failing to obtain express written consent from employees and applicants
- Failing to provide employees and applicants a stand-alone single page disclosure that doesn’t contain a liability release.
Prior To Firing or Denying Employment Based On A Background Check:
- Failing to provide employees and applicants a copy of the report on which the employer is relying
- Failing to provide employees and applicants notice of intent to take adverse action against them
- Failing to provide a reasonable period of time to allow the employee or applicant to contest the report
What To Do If You Suspect An FCRA Violation
If you suspect your employer or another company improperly ran or relied upon a criminal background check or credit report, you need to immediately talk to an experienced FCRA attorney. An attorney will be able to investigate the matter and acquire documentation and evidence to support your claim. Furthermore, if you believe a company violated the FCRA, chances are you are not the only victim. An experienced FCRA attorney will be able to handle your case if it becomes a class action.
Contact the FCRA lawyers at Whitfield, Bryson & Mason LLP today for a free consultation to discuss your case. Our FCRA lawyers have helped many victims of FCRA violations, and we can help you too.