FCRA Employment Background Check and Seven Years Rule
In an article by ResourceNation.com, a study from 2010found that the majority of employers hiring individuals will conduct a background check that includes a criminal background check.
As a result, more and more people with felony convictions are losing vital opportunities to find sustainable employment. As a person with a criminal background, it is important to know when the employer can actually utilize this background check and what you need to do when the background produces inaccurate information.
Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, federal law stipulates how long an employer can utilize a background check in employment consideration. To improve the outcome for felons, many states modify this further to limit the opportunity for companies to dig around into your background – a limit of no more than seven (7) years, in some cases. This, in addition to erroneous information that can be reported, can create a difficult hiring experience for some people with felonies. So, what should an ex-offender do?
Prove to the Employer
Since there is limited time to resolve erroneous information, or if the employer has gone more than 7 years back and violated your state’s laws, then provide this documentation to the hiring manager. In some cases, employers will take these facts into consideration and give you additional opportunities to be placed into the position for which you are denied. While you may have legal recourse, remember that working with the employer directly is always the best way to handle the situation first.
Handling the Consumer Reporting Agency
Since the erroneous information can come from the agency reporting your personal information, you’ll want to follow their instructions for disputing. If the issue is that the consumer agency has violated your state’s FCRA, or 7-year rule, then provide a copy of that statute to them and ask that they update their records and send confirmation to you.
Hire Legal Counsel
If the actions of consumer agency and/or the employer have caused financial and emotional distress, a lawsuit may be in order. To determine how the law applies to your particular situation, you’ll want to speak with an employment or labor attorney. In many cases, these matters can be resolved easily and often end up a job offer without further need for litigation.
No matter what your desire for work. If you have a felony conviction, never let the employer dig years into your background. If they are running a standard consumer agency report, and if the report is incorrect or violating the FCRA, consider your recourses and never the employer deny employment to you based on this matter alone.