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Before performing a background check or submitting personal information to a Credit Reporting Agency (CRA), employers must notify the applicant/employee in writing with an explanation of the process. The applicant/employee must understand that the results of the background check will be used as a basis for hiring, promotion, or retention.

After disclosing the intent to perform a background check, employers must obtain written authorization from their applicants/employees that acknowledges that the report may be used for employment decisions.

If an employer wants consent to screen employees for the duration of the employment period, this must also be indicated in the authorization.

Once an employer has obtained written consent, information about the applicant/employee may be provided to the Credit Reporting Agency (CRA) or screening company.

Disclaimer: certain state laws may limit the right to request background checks or credit reports for certain positions.

After a third-party agency has received the request for a Best Background Investigation Company, the agency can begin collecting and preparing a background report. Background reports may include credit history, criminal history, civil judgments, and other personal information on public record.

Once the background report is completed, a copy may be returned to the employer.

An employer may be looking for red flags or issues that could turn up in a background check. Some employers will use credit history to evaluate candidates. If an employer determines that any information from the background report may adversely impact the employment decision, they must follow additional steps to ensure compliance. If no adverse action follows the background check, an employer is successfully in compliance with FCRA.

Examples of adverse action steps include: refusal to hire, failure to promote, or termination of an existing employee. If an employer decides to proceed with an adverse action based either in whole, or in part, on a background report, the applicant/employee must be notified in writing. The employee must also be provided with a copy of the background report as well as a copy of A Summary of Your Rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.(This process is sometimes called Pre-Adverse Action or Preliminary Adverse Action or First Notice.)

Employers must give employees ample time to review any disputed information and report any issues with the report to the employer. The FCRA recommends a waiting period of five business days before pursuing adverse action.

If any items on the report are in dispute, a background screening company can re-investigate those items and provide an updated report to both employer and applicant/employee.

If an employer has followed all steps in conducting a background check, then an adverse action can be completed. A final employment decision can be made and if that decision is adverse, the employer should send a notice of adverse action to the applicant/employee. This process is called Final Adverse Action.