Cris, have you ever obtained any authoritative information about whether or not FCRA applies when you get your background check information from a government agency? There are counties that put this stuff up on the web for public searching, for example or, like you, someone actually uses the police. Do the police become a \"consumer reporting agency\" for the purposes of the act?
The FCRA applies if
a) you are an employer, creditor, or landlord.
b) You purchase the background check, instead of doing the research yourself
The FCRA does not apply if you use free public information and do the research yourself.
For example, you look up a criminal record on the county's free website.
If the FCRA applies, then you must get the job applicant's written permission to run a background check. That is very easy to do. Just include a permission form with your job application form. If the applicant, refuses to sign it, then do not hire him.
Also, you should always have a job application form that you have the job applicant fill out in your office. That way you can cross check what he writes with his resume. Do not let him take the job application form home where he can create fake answers to fool you.
If the FCRA applies and you refuse to extend the credit, rental, or job offer because of information that you found out, then you must tell the applicant about the adverse information and where you got it. I just give them a copy of the pertinent paragraph from the pre-employment background search .
Other laws also apply:
2. The Driver’s Privacy Protection Act.
3. The American with Disabilities Act (ADA).
4. Different states have different legal frame works for an
employee background search
, such as the Investigative Consumer Reporting Agencies Act which exists in California.