A Summary of Rights Notice as Required by the FCRA is a summary of the consumer’s rights as it applies to background screening. Consumers must receive a copy of the FCRA Summary of Rights. Additional state and local summaries may be required.
Most recently the Summary of Rights was updated with non-substantive changes on March 17, 2023. The non-substantive changes include new contact information for the CFPB and other federal agencies. It also removed an obsolete business type: “Federal Land Banks”.
Click here for the Summary of Rights Notice in both English and Spanish Versions.
The most current and up-to-date disclosures and authorizations can be accessed within the Choice Screening digital consent form process. If you are not using our digital consent form process, reach out to your account manager today to ensure you have the most current and updated forms in order to stay compliant!
What is the FCRA?
The FCRA of Fair Credit Report Act is a federal law regulating the collection and reporting of an individual’s background information. A CRA (consumer reporting agency) and employer both have obligations under the FCRA. It also protects the consumer with provisions like consent must be obtained, the consumer has a right to receive their report, the consumer has a right to dispute information, etc. For more information reference the FCRA here.
The employer cannot delegate responsibility for compliance of the FCRA to a CRA, nor can they claim they did not realize they were in violation of FCRA. This means an employer must take responsibility for compliance. This means saying you did not realize you were violating it will not be a defense in doing so (ie a strict-liability statute).
FCRA Employer Requirements
Consent Form: Under the FCRA, employers must get permission to run a background check from the subject of the report before initiating the request. This is accomplished through obtaining a signed Consent Form, also referred to as an Authorization and Disclosure Form.
The FCRA requires the Consent Form be a stand-alone document that contains specific language. It also prohibits erroneous information, which the courts have concluded applies to state/local required disclosures. Eliminating state-specific disclosures makes the Consent Form FCRA compliant, but also renders it non-compliant according to state requirements. As such, employers must be aware of and communicate additional disclosures as required.
Adverse Action: If you make a decision that negatively impacts the subject of the background report, based all or in part on the results of the report, you must follow the adverse action process. According to the FCRA, this includes: Pre-Adverse Action, Waiting Period, Post-Adverse Action.
Copy of Report: The FCRA ensures the right of a consumer to see a copy of their report when requested; there is no lawful cause to refuse the request. The FCRA uses this provision to encourage transparency. In doing so, it allows the consumer to identify and dispute inaccuracies – regardless of whether these influenced your decision.
Dispute: Any information that is identified as inaccurate can be disputed with the agency running the background check. Similar to providing a copy of the report, there is no lawful cause to deny the subject of the report their right to dispute.
When a dispute is submitted, Choice Screening will verify the information being disputed with the original source. Upon conclusion, you and the applicant or employee will be notified that either the original report was confirmed or that it was updated according to our researcher’s findings.
Security & Privacy: The FCRA obliges users and providers of background reports to ensure adequate security so that personal information about the consumer cannot fall into the wrong hands.
As a consumer reporting agency, we cannot act as your attorney or give you advice. This blog is informative and not all-encompassing. It is not meant to provide legal advice. You must consult qualified legal counsel to ensure you are maintaining a compliant program.