Complying with FCRA Guidelines for Employment Background Checks


FCRA guidelines

Employers and HR professionals should make sure they comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act when conducting background checks.  The Fair Credit Reporting Act or FCRA, regulates not only credit background checks but also checking criminal records and driving records.

Under the FCRA, you’re typically free to conduct employment background checks and use the information only if you have a clear business interest, such as hiring, firing, reassigning or promoting someone.  But first, you must receive the person’s written permission before obtaining the report.  If you then decide to act on it by rejecting an applicant or firing a worker, you must tell that person in writing that you based the decision partly on the background check.

There are legal consequences for employers who fail to get an applicant’s permission before requesting a consumer report or who fail to provide pre-adverse action disclosures and adverse action notices to unsuccessful job applicants.   The FCRA allows individuals to sue employers for damages in federal court and in addition, the Federal Trade Commission, other federal agencies and the states may sue employers for noncompliance.

True Hire follows all FCRA guidelines in the background check process to make sure companies stay in compliance with all federal as well as individual state laws.  Our Getting Started Package includes a background release for applicants to sign, download it here:



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