It is important that all employment applicants know their rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and how to deal with problems that may occur during the screening and hiring process. We provide the information on these pages as a courtesy to applicants. This information is not to be considered legal advice.
If you have questions, consult with your legal counsel.
Employment Screening Services, Inc (ESS) respects the privacy interests of all clients, consumers, and visitors to our web sites. We are committed to protecting personal information provided to ESS. Additionally, ESS is committed to safeguarding and securing our methods of data transmission.
The FCRA Summary of Consumer Rights:
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requires that employers and Consumer Reporting Agencies (CRA's) provide a copy of the FCRA Summary of Consumer Rights with every report. You can obtain it by clicking on the links below.
Click Here for a copy in Spanish
What Happens When an Employer Decides Not to Hire Someone Due to a Background Check?
The Fair Credit Reporting ACt (FCRA) is very clear on what an employer must do if they find negative information on your background check and decide not to hire you.
1. The employer is required to send you a "Pre-Adverse Action" letter. This letter should contain the contact information of the company that conducted the background check on you and clearly state why you are receiving the letter. (i.e. negative or derogatory information was found and reported about you.) Included with this letter should be the actual background report that was sent to the employer with all your information. Also included should be another copy of your "Summary of Rights." There are also states like California and Washington that require specific other notices such as a "Statement of Consumer Rights" and "Notice Regarding Background Investigation." These notices can be sent to you by Fax, e-mail or letter. The employer must allow a reasonable time period (FTC recommends five business days) for you to contact the background screening company to dispute the information.
IMPORTANT: If you receive a "Pre-Adverse Action" letter, a copy of your report background check, and Summary of Rights as described above, review the report for accuracy and completeness as soon as possible. Contact ESS ASAP if you dispute information in your background check.
For more information on how to dispute your Consumer Report from ESS Click Here.
2. Unless you have disputed information in the report, the employer, after the five (5) day period, must send you an "Adverse Action" notice. This notice must contain all the same information as the "Pre-Adverse Action" letter and must state that you are no longer being considered for the position based on the information in the background report. You may still dispute information in the report for 60 days from the date of the adverse action letter.
These procedures must be followed each time an employer decides not to hire someone based on the results of their background check. The same is true if you are already an employee (or volunteer or independent contractor) and your employer is screening you for a possible promotion, transfer, or retention.
Is Your Name In Our Database?
ESS does not maintain a list of names other than on those whom we have specifically screened for an employer. There are many database companies in the country who gather and sell information to our industry and others. We have no control over these companies and the information in their databases. If you are interested in finding out more about these databases and your rights, you may want to contact the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse at:
How To Request A Full File Disclosure from ESS.
At any time you may request a free copy of your employment background check and all accompanying documentation, if any were previously prepared by Employment Screening Services, Inc. (ESS) of Spokane, Washington. ESS will only possess consumer information on persons whom it performed an employment background check, ESS only performs background checks for certified clients who have provided proper disclosures to, and received written authorization from, the subject of the report.
If ESS provided your credit report to your prospective employer (or employer), and if you dispute information on your credit report (regardless of whether it is part of an adverse action process), ESS, as a “Reseller,” will dispute the information to the credit bureau on your behalf, free of charge. You always have the right to contact a credit bureau directly to dispute information, but provisions of the FACT Act require Resellers to maintain trained personnel who are able to file your credit report dispute with the credit bureau within five days of being notified. It is helpful to provide the Reseller with any evidentiary information that supports your dispute of the credit information. The credit bureau has 30 days to investigate the dispute. It will report its findings back to the Reseller who will then notify you and the employer who received the original report. If you continue to dispute the credit information, you have the right to add a statement of dispute to the consumer report.
If you are not sure whether ESS has conducted an employment background check on you, and, to learn more about requesting a file disclosure from ESS Click Here.
How To Obtain Your Annual Free Credit Report:
Even if ESS did not obtain your credit report, Under the FACT ACT, the credit bureaus are required to offer you one free copy of your credit report every year. There are many companies who sell these, but through www.annualcreditreport.com you can actually get your report for free from all three bureaus.
You can learn more about your free credit report at http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0155-free-credit-reports
To learn more:
You may wish to read a brochure put out by the EEOC and FTC called, “Background Checks: What Job Applicants and Employees Should Know.” Click here to read this article.