Enacted in 1970, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is a federal law that regulates the collection, dissemination, and use of consumer information in background check reports – officially called “consumer reports” – that are supplied by Consumer Reporting Agencies (CRAs) – the official term for background check firms. The FCRA requires that CRAs “follow reasonable procedures to assure maximum possible accuracy of the information concerning the individual about whom the report relates.” The law also covers other various aspects of background screening for employment purposes.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) provide information on how to comply with the FCRA when performing background checks.
- Background Checks: What Employers Need to Know
- What Employment Background Screening Companies Need to Know About the Fair Credit Reporting Act
- Disposing of 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
- 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”
- Background checks on prospective employees: Keep required disclosures simple
- Are you OK with the F-C-R-A?
- Hayes Advisory Opinion Letter (08-05-98)
- Complying with the FCRA in Four Easy Steps
The Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act of 2003 (FACTA or FACT ACT) is a federal law passed by the United States Congress that amended the FCRA.
Along with the FCRA, there are also a variety of state laws covering multiple aspects of the background screening process.