Employer’s Guide To Establishing Background Check Policies


Compliance With The FCRA And Other Employment Related Laws

We recommend you consult with your human resources consulting agency or your legal department to make sure the policies you establish are not in conflict with any laws.
In any case, these suggestions are offered to help you begin crafting your company’s policies and procedures.
We hope offering this information and a few suggestions will help you establish a compliant policy for your business or organization.
Increasing Litigation in this area of law requires strict adherence to the FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act) and other state employment law like Ban The Box laws, which prohibits employers from asking about criminal records until after a job offer is made.
So it is important to establish a compliant policy and procedures that protects the business from such litigation.
 The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), 15 U.S.C. § 1681 et seq.
governs access to consumer credit report records and promotes accuracy, fairness, and the privacy of personal information assembled by Credit Reporting Agencies (CRAs).  
A CRA is an entity that assembles and sells credit information and financial information about individuals. 
While there are three national CRAs in the United States (Experian, Trans Union, and Equifax), private investigators, detective agencies, collection agencies, inspection bureaus, companies that sell information to insurance companies and assist in performing background checks, and college placement offices have been deemed to be CRAs under the law. 
CRAs compile what are called “consumer reports,” meaning any written, oral, or other communication of any information by a CRA bearing on a consumer’s credit worthiness, credit standing, credit capacity, character, general reputation, personal characteristics, or mode of living.  See § 1681a.
The FCRA statute was interpreted to also include the background screening industry as a CRA.
Employers using a CRA (Credit reporting agency) are required to follow the end user requirements of the FCRA.
 The FCRA applies to all background checks and pre employment checks on an individual for employment purposes.

Hiring Policy

It is important that the company decide on hiring policy when it comes to criminal records that are reported.
Deciding what, if any, criminal records might be acceptable for various positions.
For a list of criminal records terms and definitions: Click Here

Other Hiring Considerations

How long after an arrest and conviction might it be safe to hire someone?
Here is an Interesting long term research study by Carnegie Mello University that addresses this: Click Here

Other Terms And Definitions:

Consumer Reporting Agency (CRA) 

Is an organization that collects and compiles information on a consumer for the purpose of creating a consumer report.

Consumer Report 

It is the compiled report of information collected by a consumer reporting agency that may include credit or other information used to evaluate an individual for employment purposes.

Essentially, this is the background check report.


An individual who is the subject of a consumer report.

This may an applicant for employment, a volunteer or a contactor that you would want to run a background report on.

End User

The individual, company or organization that will be using the consumer report to evaluate a consumer for employment purposes.

Will your policy be to run a background check on all applicants?
These suggestions are to acqu(CRA)aint you with  some of the issues you will want to consider when establishing your company’s background check policies.
 There are a number of other considerations as well, depending on the type of industry or business you are establishing the policies for.
Call us now at 800-459-3034 and begin ordering instant driving records and background checks within minutes or:
A price list will be promptly e-mailed to you.


None of the information contained in this web site should be construed as legal advice.
All forms, policies, information and procedures should be reviewed by your legal counsel before being used in any way.

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