Q & A – March 31, 2015

Q. What should I do if I find something in a background screen that makes me not want to hire the applicant?

A. If using a background screening service, the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act requires you to provide the applicant with a document called A Summary of Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. This document is produced by the Federal Trade Commission. You are also required to provide the applicant with a copy of the report containing this information. If the applicant tells you that the information is either incorrect or incomplete, then you must give the applicant time to address this. Guidance from the Federal Trade Commission states that five business days is normally sufficient. If the applicant does not address the problem in that time, you can go forward with your decision not to hire the employee. You must then, provide a written adverse action notice to the applicant. Sample notices and the summary or rights document are included in our FYI: Reference Checking: The Fair Credit Reporting Act.

If you do not use a background screening service, you are not required to go through the process outlined above. You can simply notify the applicant that they have been rejected.