Background Check Forms Under Increased Scrutiny

Written By Thomas Ahearn

homepage-legalA federal court decision from a District Court in Pennsylvania granted summary judgment in favor of a class of more than 1,800 job applicants and ruled the employer’s background check consent and disclosure form was improper since the form contained a waiver of liability even though such language is a common practice among some businesses. The ruling in the case of Reardon v. Closetmaid Corporation is available at

A blog on the website reports that Court also granted summary judgment to job applicants who were sent a pre-adverse action notification form as required under the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) but were then denied employment within fewer days than what the Court considered a “reasonable time period.” The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) advises a “reasonable period of time must elapse” after an employer provides a pre-adverse action notice and before that employer takes adverse action against the consumer. reports since the Court determined the employer’s background check procedures were unreasonable the company faces statutory liability of $100 to $1,000 per applicant plus punitive damages and attorneys’ fees. As a result of this ruling, businesses would be wise to check background check consent forms for waiver language and pre-adverse action waiting periods.  The complete blog is available at

Attorney Lester Rosen, Founder and CEO of Employment Screening Resources® (ESR), has written an article titled ‘Complying with the Fair Credit Reporting Act in Four Easy Steps’ to help employers understand background check form compliance. The article is available at For more information about Employment Screening Resources® (ESR), visit, call Toll Free 888.999.4474, or email

About Employment Screening Resources® (ESR):

Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – ‘The Background Check Authority®’– is a nationwide provider of background checks accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®). ESR Founder and CEO Attorney Lester Rosen wrote the book on background checks with “The Safe Hiring Manual” and is a frequent speaker on employment screening issues with “ESR Speaks.” To learn more about ESR, visit, call Toll Free 888.999.4474, or email

About ESR News: 

The ESR News Blog provides employment screening background check information for employers, recruiters, and jobseekers. For more information about ESR News, please email ESR News Editor Thomas Ahearn at