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FTC and Background Checks

Posted in News & Events, News Articles on 09/07/2012

In the past weeks, the FTC has cracked down on background screening companies who do not follow procedures as set forth by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).  The FCRA has specific rules that must be followed in areas such as applicant consent to having a background check done, report accuracy, procedures for reporting adverse public record information, and adverse action and re-investigation of information provided in a background report.

Background checks for employment should only be done with an applicant’s consent.  Employers must inform applicants/employees that a background check may be conducted and get their signed consent to do so. At BackTrack, we won’t process a background check unless the applicant’s consent has been received either electronically or in writing. 

Information reported in a background check must follow procedures to assure maximum possible accuracy, including reporting adverse information from public records.  Before we report any public record information to our clients, especially in the area of criminal records, we check and re-check to be sure that our information is accurate and up-to-date.  We don’t just report information found in a database, we check it directly at the source to be sure that it is correct and current information before we send it to our clients.  While the FCRA does allow information from a database to be reported to both the applicant and the client at the same time, we feel our clients, along with their applicants, are better served by having our criminal investigations staff check the records for accuracy before they are reported to your company.

If an applicant has a concern about information in his or her report and believes information may be inaccurate, the information can be disputed and information will be re-investigated.  If an applicant contacts BackTrack with a dispute, the call is handled promptly and information is re-investigated as soon as possible.  If an applicant disputes information, we will contact your office to let you know, and we start the dispute resolution process right away.  While the FCRA does allow 30 days to complete the dispute resolution process, we make every effort to complete this process as soon as possible.

Understanding and consistently following the rules and regulations regarding background screening is important.  BackTrack is an accredited member of the NAPBS® and has employees who have been trained and certified in the FCRA procedures.  Why trust your background screening to someone else?  Contact BackTrack today at 800-991-9694 for more information.