Q. Do I need the applicant to authorize a background screen?
A. If you will use a background screening service to conduct the screen, yes, the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act requires employers to provide certain disclosures and to receive the applicant’s written authorization prior to conducting screening. This disclosure an authorization form must be in a document consisting solely of that information. It cannot be included as part of the employment application and cannot contain other extraneous information.
Unless required by state law, employers who conduct their own background screening from firsthand sources are not required to receive an applicant’s pre-authorization.