Part nine of our ten-part series on the FCRA includes an explanation of public record information for employment purposes. If this is your first time viewing this series you may want to read the previous entries:
Section 613 of the FCRA protects employees from adverse information which would affect their employment. This section of the FCRA instructs consumer reporting agencies about reporting adverse public records.
A consumer reporting agency (such as Justifacts) which furnishes a consumer report for employment purposes and which for that purpose compiles and reports items of information on consumers or applicants which are matters of public record and are likely to have an adverse effect upon a consumer’s ability to obtain employment shall:
1. At the time such public record information is reported to the user of such consumer report, notify the consumer of the fact that public record information is being reported by the consumer reporting agency, together with the name and address of the person to whom such information is being reported; or
2. Maintain strict procedures designed to ensure that whenever public record information which is likely to have an adverse effect on a consumer’s ability to obtain employment is reported it is complete and up to date. For purposes of this paragraph, items of public record relating to arrests, indictments, convictions, suits, tax liens, and outstanding judgments shall be considered up to date if the current public record status of the item at the time of the report is reported.
Consumer reporting agencies need to report complete and up to date information. We must keep this section of the FCRA in mind when using any private database of public information. Although Justifacts National Criminal Database provides a great deal of useful information, the information may at times be outdated and thus violate Section 613. In order to remain in strict compliance with the FCRA, Justifacts verifies case information found in our National Criminal Database with the originating jurisdiction. Employers must be wary of any consumer reporting agency who offers “instant criminal searches”, these searches may carry a risk of violating Section 613.
It is important to note that Justifacts is providing this information as a service to our clients. None of the information contained herein should be construed as legal advice, nor is Justifacts engaged to provide legal advice. We go to great lengths to make sure our information is accurate and useful. We recommend you consult your attorney or legal department if you want assurance that our information, and your interpretation of it, is appropriate to your particular situation.
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