Palm Beach Gardens Fair Credit Reporting Act Attorney
Employers rely on a number of criteria when deciding who will fill a job vacancy. Some businesses decide to conduct background checks on potential employees to help narrow their choices. Such background checks are generally legal, but they must comply with a federal law known as the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).
A Florida employer can be held legally responsible for misusing a background check under the FCRA. If you are a job applicant or employee affected by such misuse, you may be entitled to compensation or other legal relief. The Palm Beach Gardens Fair Credit Reporting Act attorneys at the Sconzo Law Office, P.A., can review your case and advise you of your options.
Your Rights as a Job Applicant or Employee Under the FCRA
You are probably familiar with the concept of a credit report. It is basically a written statement that contains information about your past credit activity and current credit situation. For example, if you have any credit cards or have taken out a student loan, that information will be reflected on your credit report.
But under the FCRA, a credit report is actually defined more broadly to include a wide range of background checks or reports that contain any sort of personal information about an individual. Basically, any report that an employer obtains from a third-party consumer reporting agency as a background check may fall within the scope of FCRA. And that means the employer needs to follow certain legal steps when requesting and using such information in making an employment-related decision.
First, if an employer does intend to conduct a background check, it must notify the employee or job applicant in writing. This notice must be in a stand-alone document, not buried in the fine print of some unrelated form. The subject must then give their written authorization before the employer may actually obtain the third-party credit report. The employer must also certify to the reporting agency that it has complied with these notice-and-authorization requirements.
If the employer then decides to take any adverse action based on the information contained in a credit report, it must then provide separate notice to the applicant or employee, including a copy of the report and a summary of their rights to challenge the accuracy of any information on said report under the FCRA. An “adverse action” in this context can mean refusing to hire a job applicant, or reassigning, demoting, or firing an existing employee.
Contact the Sconzo Law Office Today
To sum up, employers are not allowed to conduct “secret” background checks on you and then use that information against you in an employment context. You have certain rights that must be respected. If you have dealt with an employer whom you believe has not met these obligations, our Palm Beach Gardens Fair Credit Reporting Act attorneys may be able to help you in taking appropriate legal action. Contact the Sconzo Law Office, P.A., today to schedule a complimentary consultation with a member of our team.