Accurate Blog

Compliance Changes Surrounding Credit Report Usage Continue to Rise

Posted by Michael Jarvis on Dec 23, 2011 5:36:14 AM

The first few months of a new year often means sticking to resolutions to change personal habits and establish ambitious personal goals. Year after year, the most popular resolutions have included lose weight, get a new job and manage money and credit. The start of 2012 brought around new California legislation that affected two of the top resolutions – getting a job and managing credit.California joined six states that have employment credit check restrictions in place – Oregon, Washington, Hawaii, Maryland, Connecticut and Illinois. Other states are evaluating similar pending laws.

Effective January 1, 2012, the state of California tightened regulations on most employers using credit checks in employment decisions. Under this new law, employers are now prohibited from utilizing a credit report in making a hiring decision unless:

  • the position is included as one of the acceptable positions listed in the statute
  • and the applicant is provided written notification that the report may be obtained
  • and the employer obtains the applicant’s consent prior to requesting the credit report
  • and the applicant is provided the option to obtain a copy of the report free of charge

An announcement and overview of the new California law can be found on our website.

Resolve to be compliant
This restriction is one of the many that states are imposing on employers and the background screening industry in addition to the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) in order to protect the privacy rights of applicants. It is recommended that your company consults with its legal department regarding your background screening program to ensure that your policies are compliant with the most current changes in legislation at the state level in addition to the FCRA. Legislative updates effecting background screening are posted on our website under the Resources tab.

Accurate Background works closely with our retained counsel and we are pleased to share their legal expertise with our clients to help them remain in compliance with the FCRA and other legislation affecting the employment screening process. Look for our upcoming free webinar in March 2012 on FCRA compliance, recent changes in state law, the latest in EEOC investigations, and best practices to protect you and your company from negligent hiring and non-compliance lawsuits.

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