Scratching Some Vinyl with the FTC- FCRA Knowledge Is Power!

Nick Fishman

FCRA Lessons Through Song

Just this week, I had the pleasure of speaking to group of HR professionals at the 2015 Illinois HR Conference and Exposition on the topic of what to do when your candidate has a criminal record. The presentation centered around the various compliance responsibilities employers have when making a hiring decision. Among them was the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requirement to follow proper adverse action procedures if you are considering denying employment based on the information revealed on a background check.

Similar to the results we found on our 2015 Background Screening Trends and Practices, employers understanding of these responsibilities was mixed. Some thought you just needed to send just the adverse action letter, while others were unaware of the documents that must accompany the notifications.

I walked them the required TWO STEP process and I feel very confident those that weren’t doing it right will modify their processes accordingly.

This experience bolsters my opinion that employers are not going out of their way to violate the rights of their job candidates; they just don’t realize they’re executing the process improperly. The same can be said of other FCRA requirements including consent, dispute process, etc. They just need the proper tools.

Without being too self-promotional, that’s why EmployeeScreenIQ has been so active in creating educational resources for employers, from webinars, videos to articles and this blog. And while we think we’ve done a good job, sometimes people need to hear the same message from multiple resources for it to sink in. In fact, sometimes they need to hear it in song.

Introducing the Smooth Stylings of the FTC (Aww Yeah!)

Over the last year or so, the Federal Trade Commission has been putting together some great FCRA educational resources on how employers can maintain compliance in their pre-employment background screening practices. And they’ve asked for background screening companies to help spread the word.

I’ve been meaning to share some of these resources with our audience for a while now and when I read the FTC’s blog earlier this week, I knew it was time. Check out this post from FTC Mix-Master Senior Attorney, Lesley Fair.

Are you OK with the F-C-R-A?

The Fair Credit Reporting Act isn’t just about credit. If your company uses background checks in making personnel decisions, the FTC reminds you of your obligations under the FCRA. In honor of Throwback Thursday, here’s an unconventional old-school summary of key requirements under federal law. Spin the mirrored disco ball and join us on the dance floor for “F-C-R-A.”

There’s a law that applies
When a prospect’s
Background you scrutinize.
Just remember
To dot all the i’s.
Get consent in written format.

Are you OK with the F-C-R-A?
Are you OK with the F-C-R-A?
Exercise care with that consumer report
If you’re eager to stay out of court.

You like ‘em a lot,
But the screening
Reveals a bit of a blot.
The law says
You must give them a shot
To explain misinformation.

Are you OK with the F-C-R-A?
Are you OK with the F-C-R-A?
Give them the form summarizing their rights.
It includes the essential cites.

If adverse
Action’s what you decide,
Give the reason
Why they were denied,
And the source of
The report you supplied.
And their right to one more copy.

Once your
Decision is sure,
Take steps to
Keep disposal secure.
Need more details?
Well, we have a brochure
To deter unlawful access.

Are you OK with the F-C-R-A?
Are you OK with the F-C-R-A?
The report you must shred, burn, or pulverize
To protect it from prying eyes.

Are you OK with the F-C-R-A?  (repeat and fade)

Have more questions about how the FCRA applies in the hiring process? Read Background Checks: What Employers Need to Know – or consult your in-house cowboy or motorcycle policeman.

Thanks to Lesley’s creativity, it looks like I’m going to need to step up my blog game. Who’s up for an EEOC Haiku?

Nick Fishman
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Nick Fishman

Nick Fishman is the co-founder of EmployeeScreenIQ, a leading, global employment background screening provider, and serves as the company’s executive vice president and chief marketing officer. He pioneered the creation of EmployeeScreen University, the #1 educational resource on employment background checks for human resources, security and risk management professionals. A recognized industry expert, Nick is a frequent author, presenter and contributor to the news media. Nick is also a licensed private investigator in the states of Ohio and Texas.
Nick Fishman
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