Employers Cannot Force Job Applicants to Waive FCRA Rules Applicable to Background Reports

Today, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion in a FCRA case, Syed v. M-I, LLC that involves background reports employers obtain on prospective employees. The background reports are “consumer reports” like credit reports subject to the FCRA rules. The FCRA requires employers to give applicants a written disclosure that they plan to obtain a background report. The purpose for the disclosure is to give applicants the opportunity to block the employer from obtaining a report, a matter of privacy. The disclosure must be consist “solely of the disclosure.” The employer M-I tried to insulate it from FCRA...

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Bill to Curb Employers’ Misuse of Credit Reports

Bill to Curb Employers’ Misuse of Credit Reports The NY Times reports on a bill introduced by Senator Elizabeth Warren that would bar most employers from requiring applicants to disclose their credit histories or otherwise disqualifying applicants based on poor credit ratings. Employers are increasingly running credit checks on job applicants with the three national credit reporting agencies only too eager to add to their profits by selling credit reports to employers. The problem is that research has proven that people with poor credit histories are not automatically poor job prospects. Plus, credit reports are not always accurate making the...

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Call for Trans Union to Stop Selling Employment Credit Reports

Recently a woman was fired by her employer (Bain & Co. no less) for having excessive student debt. She started a petition to Trans Union asking them to stop selling credit reports to employers. The petition states that TransUnion, the world’s largest privately held credit reporting company, promotes credit history as a measure of character and suitability for employment. Some 60% of employers surveyed report they consult credit reports for job applicants, a practice that has left many qualified applicants out of work. The reasons TU should stop this practice are as follows: First, credit checks in hiring create a...

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New California Law Bans Use of Credit Reports for Most Employment Purposes

Responding to complaints that employers were unfairly using credit reports to screen out applicants for all sorts of jobs, the California Legislature enacted a new law effective January 1, 2012, prohibiting employers or prospective employers from using consumer credit reports for employment purposes unless the persons are applying for managerial or law enforcement positions or for jobs that involve handling money or having access to more than $10,000 in cash. The bill is AB 22.

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