Legal Compliance Resources
Please note that Employment Screening Resources (ESR) does not provide legal services and none of the information or resources on this page should be construed as legal advice or opinion. ESR recommends that clients work with their counsel to ensure that their policies and procedures are in compliance with applicable federal and state laws. However, these resources can a useful tool in the process of making informed business decisions.
- Background Checks: What Employers Need to Know [PDF] - A February 2014 joint publication of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on how the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and the mandate to comply with anti-discrimination laws intersect when employers use background checks in personnel decisions.
- "Complying with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) in Four Easy Steps©" - The FCRA is summarized in a special report prepared by Attorney Lester Rosen, Founder and CEO of Employment Screening Resources (ESR).
- FCRA "homepage" for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
- Fair Credit Reporting Act 15 USC § 1681 et seq (Text of Rule)
- Information on the Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act (FACTA) of 2003
- Using Consumer Reports: What Employers Need to Know
- "Forty Years of Experience with the Fair Credit Reporting Act: An FTC Staff Report and Summary of Interpretations" - The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a staff report in July 2011 that compiles and updates the agency's guidance on the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), the 1970 law designed to protect the privacy of credit report information and ensure that the information supplied by credit reporting agencies (CRAs) is as accurate as possible.
- Text of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) Incorporating the 2003 FACT Act Amendments - Posted on Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Website on September 1, 2011.
- FTC Business Alert ‘Disposing Consumer Report Information? Rule Tells How’
- Federal Register Volume 69, Issue 226 (November 24, 2004) 69 FR 68690 - Disposal of Consumer Report Information and Records
- Hayes Advisory Opinion Letter (08-05-98)
- Are You OK with the F-C-R-A? - An unconventional old-school summary of key requirements under federal law with lyrics meant to be sung to the tune of “YMCA” by the Village People.
- What Employment Background Screening Companies Need to Know About the Fair Credit Reporting Act - The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) created new guidance in May 2016 for businesses aimed at giving employment background screening companies information on how to comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
- A Summary of Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act
- Un resumen de sus derechos en virtud de la Ley de Informe Justo de Crédito (Spanish Version)
- NOTICE TO USERS OF CONSUMER REPORTS: OBLIGATIONS OF USERS UNDER THE FCRA
- NOTICE TO FURNISHERS OF INFORMATION: OBLIGATIONS OF FURNISHERS UNDER THE FCRA
- NOTE: On 11/14/2012, the CFPB announced in the Federal Register corrections to errors in the earlier versions of the notices required under the FCRA as of January 1, 2013. The new CFPB forms available above include those changes. For more information about the CFPB, visit http://www.consumerfinance.gov/learnmore/.
- ESR Prepared Digest Summary of FTC Staff Opinion Letters on the FCRA - NOTE: This is an internal research document prepared for use by Employment Screening Resources (ESR). It is intended merely as a useful summary or digest of the staff opinion letters issued by the staff of the Federal Trade Commission. This document does not constitute legal advice and is not intended as legal advice. There is no guarantee or representation as to the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any of the information. It is intended only as an aid to research. The material and information contained herein is used entirely at the risk of the user. This document may not be duplicated, copied, sold, transmitted or used in any other fashion except for online research without written authorization from Employment Screening Resources (ESR).
- Enforcement Guidance on the Consideration of Arrest and Conviction Records in Employment Decisions Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 - On April 25, 2012, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) – the agency that enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination – voted to approve updated EEOC Enforcement Guidance for Use of Criminal Records. The updated EEOC Guidance is available at http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/guidance/arrest_conviction.cfm.
- Background Checks: Tips For Job Applicants and Employees - The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a follow-up guide in November 2014 that expands on a joint publication of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and FTC.
- Background Checks: What Employers Need to Know - A March 2014 joint publication of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Federal Trade Commission.
- Small Business Resource Center (SBRC) - The EEOC released the SBRC in September 2016 to help small business owners comply with federal employment anti-discrimination laws enforced by EEOC.
- 1990 EEOC Policy Guidance on the Consideration of Arrest Records in Employment Decisions under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, 42 U.S.C. §2000e et seq. (1982)( 9/7/90): http://www.eeoc.gov/policy/docs/arrest_records.html.
- 1987 EEOC Policy Statement on the Use of Statistics in Charges Involving the Exclusion of Individuals with Conviction Records from Employment (7/29/87): http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/guidance/arrest_conviction.cfm#sdendnote3sym.
- 1987 EEOC Policy Statement on the Issue of Conviction Records under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq. (1982)(2/4/87): http://www.eeoc.gov/policy/docs/convict1.html.
- Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Website
- Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
- Titles I and V of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA)
- The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967
- The Civil Rights Act of 1991
- AGE Discrimination and date of birth per EEOC
The "Ban the Box" movement seeks to remove questions about convictions from job applications and delay them until later in the hiring process so that ex-offenders can be judged first on their qualifications. Learn more about "Ban the Box" at the links below:
- Employment Screening Resources (ESR) Los Angeles Ban the Box Ordinance Infographic
- Ban the Box: A Fair Chance for a Stronger Economy - A Ban the Box Toolkit from the National Employment Law Project (NELP).
- BAN THE BOX: MAJOR U.S. CITIES AND COUNTIES ADOPT FAIR HIRING POLICIES TO REMOVE UNFAIR BARRIERS TO EMPLOYMENT OF PEOPLE WITH CRIMINAL RECORDS - A Resource Guide from NELP.
- STATEWIDE BAN THE BOX: REDUCING UNFAIR BARRIERS TO EMPLOYMENT OF PEOPLE WITH CRIMINAL RECORDS - A Resource Guide from NELP.
- 65 MILLION “NEED NOT APPLY”: The Case for Reforming Criminal Background Checks for Employment - A March 2011 report from NELP that estimated one in four adults in the U.S. have arrest or conviction records.
- ‘Best Practice Standards: The Proper Use of Criminal Records in Hiring’ - A group of national civil and workers’ rights organizations released a report addressing the use of criminal records of job applicants by employers during background checks. Screening industry consultants who helped to develop the Best Practice standards include ESR Founder & CEO Attorney Les Rosen.
Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) Survey of State Criminal History Information Systems, 2014 - The latest survey by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) released December 2015 and based on statistics complied as of Dec 31, 2014.
New Facts About the Currency and Accuracy of Criminal Records at State Criminal Record Repositories (Posted June 16, 2016) - An article that reveals the three key reasons why the completeness, consistency, and accuracy of state criminal record repositories could be suspect from BRB Publications, Inc.
- National Criminal History Databases: Issues and Opportunities in Pre-employment Screening - A November 2002 report by Carl R. Ernst and Les Rosen
- Ban the Box Information Page from Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) contains links to news and resources about the Ban the Box movement.
- For ESR News blogs about "Ban the Box," please visit http://www.esrcheck.com/wordpress/tag/ban-the-box/.
A copy of the California Pre-Employment Guidelines published by the California Department of Fair Housing and Employment. All employers know that there are certain areas that cannot be covered in a job interview. This summary tells employers what they can and cannot ask in job interviews. It is generally helpful to employers in all the fifty states.
An excellent site on legal vs. non-legal questions and the entire area of discrimination in employment is:http://www.discriminationattorney.com/. Although it is based in California, it gives an excellent summary of federal law as well.
- Articles about Employment Applications - Written by ESR Founder & CEO Attorney Lester Rosen
- Interview Guide Generator - A tool by ESR that allows employers to generate structured interviews forms using a list of genre is interview questions or custom questions.
- Sample Job Descriptions - The process of writing a job description requires having a clear understanding of the job’s duties and responsibilities and should also include a concise picture of the skills required for the position to attract qualified job candidates. Here are sample job postings from Monster.com to help employers write their job description and improve their job posting results.
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 states that currently have such laws. ESR will continue to monitor this area and post updates.
- States with Credit Reporting Restrictions with Permissible Purposes
- States with Laws Regulating Credit Reports for Employment
- All ESR Articles about Credit Reports
- NYC Commission on Human Rights (NYCCHR) Enforcement Guidance on New York City Law Banning Credit Checks by Employers
- FTC Consumer Information on Employment Background Checks & Credit Reports - The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has resources that will help consumers and job applicants deal with their own credit reports. These are excellent resources for job applicants that would like information about improving their reports.
- Free Annual Credit Report from AnnualCreditReport.com - It is an excellent idea to obtain and review your own credit report to make certain that everything is accurate and up to date. The advantages of viewing your own credit report is that you can see which companies are looking at your credit information, identify and dispute any inaccuracies, track any late payments or adverse information, and tell if someone is using your identity or setting up unauthorized accounts or making unauthorized purchases. Under federal law, you have a right to obtain a copy once a year from EACH credit bureau. To obtain a FREE annual copy of your credit report, click here.
- Want A Free Annual Credit Report? - Information from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) on free annual credit reports and how to avoid scams.
- Social Security Number Verification Service (SSNVS) - Employers have the ability to call the Social Security administration (SSA) directly to verify an employee's social security number. An employer must provide an Employer Identification Number (EIN). A background screening firm is not able to call on an employer's behalf.
- USCIS Publishes New Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 - On March 8, 2013, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a new Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification (Rev. 03/08/13) N. The new Form I-9 is available for immediate use by employers to comply with their employment eligibility verification responsibilities at http://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/files/form/i-9.pdf.
- Form I-9 & E-Verify Services - Employment Screening Resources (ESR) is a Designated E-Verify Employer Agent that helps employers with Form I-9 and E-Verify compliance to ensure that newly hired employees are legally eligible to work in the United States. All U.S. employers are required to complete a Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification for each employee hired in the United States to comply with employment eligibility verification responsibilities. E-Verify is a free web-based service from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that allows employers to verifiy the employment eligibility of new employees.
- ESR News blogs tagged 'Form I-9' and 'E-Verify'.
Links offering legal updates from well known employment and labor law firms:
- Seyfarth Shaw
- Fisher and Phillips
- Employment Law Alliance
- Curiale Hirschfled Kraemer LLP
- Jackson Lewis
Links assisting in researching laws in the fifty states and federal law:
- Index to Criminal Law for each State
- Employment Law Information Network
- SECRETARIES OF STATE Website
Links for California legal information:
Links for Motor Vehicle Records:
Every state has resources to understand and interpret code sections on a motor vehicle reports. For California:
- Identity Fraud.com
- Privacy Rights Clearinghouse - A non-profit organization with valuable information and articles on identity fraud and subjects relating to privacy.
- CA DMW Sources of Information
- FTC Identity Theft Information
- Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC)
- Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC.org) - Established in 1994, EPIC operates as a public interest research center in Washington, D.C. EPIC's focus is to bring public attention to emerging civil liberties issues and to protect privacy, the First Amendment, and constitutional values. The site has archived and up to date information, articles, and links on a variety of topics including laws, trends, and technologies.