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What is a "consumer report" and/or an "investigative consumer report?" What type of info does an employer have access to?

New York, NY |

My employer will be conducting background investigations on all current and new employees. Paperwork distributed by employer states that employees may be subject of a "consumer report" and/or an "investigative consumer report." What information does the employer have access to via these reports? The company they will be using for these reports is First Advantage Screening Solutions. What span of time do the reports cover? Does shoplifting (not involving arrest) where the bill/fine was paid show up on the report? How about lawsuits, (termination of) prior employment, etc.? Any information that could be provided is greatly appreciated.

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Attorney answers 1

Posted

I believe this is linked to your credit history, but I may be mistaken.

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Anthony Rocco Pecora

Anthony Rocco Pecora

Posted

Yes. It can be linked to your credit report. However the industry has expanded into providing 'background' reports which pertain to an applicant's 'employability' and can include criminal background information as well as past work history, driving records etc. An investigative consumer report is a type of consumer report wherein the background company is authorized (by the job applicant) to contact individuals and ask individuals about the character of the job applicant. Both of these reports are governed by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and a violation in the handling of these reports could result in damages for lost wages, future wages and other damages if the job applicant loses a job opportunity.

Vincent Peter White

Vincent Peter White

Posted

That is very good information Attorney Pecora, thank you for sharing it with me.

Anthony Rocco Pecora

Anthony Rocco Pecora

Posted

You're welcome Vincent. This is an area of law that my law partner Matt Dooley and I stumbled upon in 2009. If you have any clients who are denied employment because of a background report, let me know. We team up with lawyers all the time across the U.S.

Vincent Peter White

Vincent Peter White

Posted

We have a large volume of bank employees and other financial industry workers. This seems like it might be a hot button issue for us, I may very well be in touch. It is always nice when we can work together to help our clients.

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