Employment Screening Resources (ESR) is unable to give job seekers individual advice on job seeking or on any legal matter. If you have a question about your situation, you are advised to contact a knowledgeable professional. Your local bar association can give you the names of attorneys who may help and many Attorneys and law firms have websites onlines. Job placement professionals can also be of assistance. This page is provided as a courtesy to job applicants that have questions or concerns about background checks.
How Consumers Dispute Information in a Consumer Report
If you are the subject of a consumer report prepared by Employment Screening Resources (ESR) and find information you believe is incorrect or incomplete, you have the right under federal law to dispute that report. A Consumer Reporting Agency (CRA) has the legal obligation to investigate your concerns and accuracy is a top priority at ESR. You may contact us by calling 888-999-4474 Toll Free and asking to speak with a Dispute Resolution Specialist. You may email or write to us using information on Contact Us page.
Upon receipt of your dispute, ESR has thirty (30) days to conduct a reinvestigation of the information disputed and to record the current status of the information on your file or, in some instances, delete the information from your file. We will provide you with notice of the results of our reinvestigation no later than five (5) business days after the completion of the reinvestigation. This notice will be provided to you by mail.
- For Employment Purposes Reports: If a reinvestigation does not resolve the dispute as you wish, you may submit a brief statement setting forth the nature of the dispute and we will insert this statement into your file. It will appear in any future report we issue that contains the disputed information.
- For Credit Reports: If a reinvestigation of your credit report does not resolve the dispute as you wish, you may contact us or the credit bureau directly to file a statement for inclusion on your report.
The links below will take you to the document 'A Summary of Your Rights Under the Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act' provided by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB):
- 'A Summary of Your Rights Under the Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act'
- 'A Summary of Your Rights Under the Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act' (Spanish Version)
You may also have separate rights under state law depending on where you reside. Information on your states regulations can be found at the agency that regulates Consumer Reporting in your state.
Is there Information that ESR will NOT Report to an Employer?
As a Consumer Reporting Agency (CRA) under the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and corresponding state and local laws, ESR is under a number of restrictions in terms of what can and cannot be reported.
The FCRA has a general rule concerning accuracy. It states that a CRA "shall follow reasonable procedures to assure maximum possible accuracy of the information." For that reason:
- ESR never relies upon unofficial database information for criminal records research and reporting.
- ESR always takes steps to confirm the accuracy of the information from the primary source which is the local, state, or federal courthouse.
- If ESR does not have sufficient information to relate a criminal record to the subject of the background check, it is not reported.
ESR supports and follows the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), local, state, and federal nondiscrimination laws, and the anti-retaliation provisions of civil rights laws. Accordingly, ESR does not report on:
- Any disability, medical, or genetic condition.
- Civil matters involving any allegations of civil rights violations or claims made by an applicant against his or her prior and present employers.
Under the FCRA, local, state, and federal laws there are additional restrictions on what employers can consider and what screening firms can report. In that regard:
- ESR takes reasonable and appropriate measures to prevent the reporting of information that is prohibited by federal, state, and local laws.
- ESR has a policy of carefully vetting information so that we do not provide information to employers that they cannot consider.
Although ESR does not offer legal services and does not make legal judgments, ESR operates under generally accepted industry practices in making these determinations. For example:
- ESR will suppress arrests, or criminal matters that have been set aside, if an employer operates in a state that prohibits them from being considered.
- In states that disallow use of criminal records older than seven years, ESR suppresses convictions beyond that limit.
- Ten states currently have restrictions on the use of credit reports for employment and ESR has tools that help an employer stay compliant.
It is ESR's philosophy that only accurate and actionable information should be provided to employers, and that an employer needs to work with a CRA that does not merely report raw data but provides a professional service that helps employers understand what information may be considered in making employment decisions.
- For Job Applicants: Employment Background Checks - A helpful webpage for consumers on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) website about background checks.
- For Applicants/Employees: Background Checks: Tips for Job Applicants and Employees - A November 2014 publication by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that is a follow-up guide to the publication below.
- For Applicants/Employees: Background Checks: What Job Applicants and Employees Should Know - A February 2014 joint publication of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
- For Job Applicants with Criminal Records: Criminal Records and Getting Back into the Workforce: Six Critical Steps for Ex-offenders Trying to Get Back into the Workforce, by ESR President Lester Rosen. Originally published online at Privacyrights.org. (This article is also available in Spanish version.)
- Social Security Number (SSN) Trace: A new web page created by ESR called Social Security Number Trace Information for Consumers helps to explain SSN Traces.
- For Job Applicants: For general resources that are very helpful, see the information at Privacyrights.org: http://www.privacyrights.org/Background-Checks-and-Workplace
- NAPBS: The web site for the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) also has information. See: www.NAPBS.com
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Document "A Summary of Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act" (Spanish Version). This is the summary that must be provided to a consumer any time an adverse notice action is taken.
- FACT ACT rights: For job applicants screened by ESR, here is information on your free ESR FACT ACT disclosure: http://www.esrcheck.com/fact_act_compliance.php
- E-Verify Self Check: Self Check – a service of E-Verify – is a free, Internet-based application that is available nationwide and can be used by anyone in the United States over the age of 16 to confirm employment eligibility. For more information about Self Check, please visit: http://www.uscis.gov/selfcheck.
- To obtain a FREE annual copy of your credit report, visit: https://www.annualcreditreport.com/cra/index.jsp or http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/freereports/index.shtml.
- Information provided by Federal Trade Commission in May, 2010 for Consumers on your rights when it comes to credit reports and background checks: http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/credit/cre36.shtm.
- Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve - Consumer's Guide to 'Credit Reports and Credit Scores': http://www.federalreserve.gov/creditreports/.
- For information on free annual credit reports and how to avoid scams, see: http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/credit/cre13.shtm
- Video for Consumers and job seekers on how to deal with credit reports by ESR: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5XQpAMIx4m4
- White paper: The Use of Credit Reports in Employment Background Screening: (A joint effort by Employment Screening Resources and LexisNexis Screening Solutions and appearing on the NAPBS web site)
- US States with Laws Regulating Credit Reports for Employment – A number of U.S. states have either passed, or are considering passing, laws regulating credit reports used by employers for employment purposes. Here is a summary of the states that currently have such laws. ESR will continue to monitor this area and post updates.
Credit Reports and job hunting: Concerned about your credit report when job hunting? Don't be confused by Urban Myths but do be pro-active. This report explains how: http://www.esrcheck.com/wordpress/1103/job-hunting-and-credit-reports.
Identity Theft Resources
- Identity Theft resources at the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse: http://www.privacyrights.org/Identity-Theft-Data-Breaches
- Also helpful is a paper on what to do if you are the victim of Identity Theft: https://www.privacyrights.org/identity-theft-what-do-if-it-happens-you
- FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION (FTC) IDENTITY THEFT WEB SITE: http://www.ftc.gov/idtheft.
- TAKING CHARGE: WHAT TO DO IF YOUR IDENTITY IS STOLEN: http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/idtheft/idt04.pdf.
To report identity theft: