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Hiring an employee is an important business decision. You want to find out as much as you can about a potential employee before you make an employment offer. Examining an applicant’s consumer credit reports can provide you with valuable information, however, you need to be careful in how you use the information. You must follow the requirements of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. The Fair Credit Reporting Act requires you to obtain an applicant’s consent before accessing his credit reports and requires you to notify an applicant if you are not going to hire the person because of the information contained in his credit reports. The first notice to the applicant must occur before you make your employment decision and must include a copy of the credit report and an FTC publication describing the applicant’s rights. After you make your decision you must provide the applicant with a second notice that describes why you made the decision and gives the applicant the opportunity to dispute the accuracy or completeness of the credit report. For more information about using consumer credit reports in hiring, visit www.ftc.gov.