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Human Resources, Union/Labor Relations and Personnel Expertise


NEWS Braun Consulting


Vol. 4 No. 1
Spring 1998
See our Archive Pages for Back Issues of Braun Consulting News!

News on Personnel, Labor Relations and Benefits

Does Your Application
Comply With The FCRA?
(Fair Credit Reporting Act)......1

A $35,000 Mistake
Employees Right To Privacy Handled Carelessly Brings Home
A Costly Lesson......2

Domestic Abuse &
Workplace Violence

A Liability Issue For Employers......2

Job Hunting On The Web
"It's A Numbers Game"!......2

5 Myths About Overtime:
Test Your Knowledge......3

Braun Taps Into Internet Resources
To Solve Your Problems......3

If The IRS Comes Knocking On Your Door......3

More Limitations On ADA......4

Truth Never Dies
by Abraham Lincoln......4

Questions or Concerns

The Contents of this
News Letter is intended for
general information and
should not be construed as
legal advise or opinion.

button Table Of Contents

Braun Consulting Group
* Insurance * Labor
* Personnel
button Does Your Application Comply With The FCRA? (Fair Credit Reporting Act)

If you are an employer who sometimes relies on information in consumer credit reports to make decisions on hiring, promoting or retaining applicants and employees you should be aware of some new requirements in the FCRA.

Amendments (known as the Consumer Credit Reporting Reform Act of 1996) to the FCRA are in effect as of September 1997, so you should be aware of their significance and consider their implications if you use consumer reports in employment decisions. This law covers the use of driving records as if driving records were a "consumer report".

Among some of the important changes in the current requirements are the following:

  • An employer will only be able to legally obtain a consumer report for employment purposes if it

    (1) gives the applicant or employee a clear, conspicuous written disclosure notifying him or her that a consumer report may be obtained and

    (2) obtains written authorization from the applicant or employee. [15 U.S.C. 1681b(b)(2).] The written disclosure should be in a document containing only that disclosure.

  • There are additional disclosure requirements pertaining to obtaining investigative consumer reports - i.e., reports containing personal information on consumers garnered from interviews with friends, neighbors or associates.

    Employers who use consumer credit reports or investigative consumer reports might consider giving Braun Consulting Group a call for clarification on any of these issues.

  • Additional obligations include the requirement to provide notice of "adverse action" and the right to dispute.

    Under the new Reform Act, as soon as an employer intends to take adverse action (which includes the "denial of employment or any other decision for employment purposes that adversely affects any current or prospective employee") it must first provide the applicant or employee with a copy of the report, along with a written description of his or her rights under this statute... including the right to request disclosure of the nature, sources and recipients of any credit report.

    The applicant or employee must also be notified of his or her right to dispute the accuracy of the report. Other requirements apply, so be aware that you will need to understand the new conditions.

  • The FCRA, as amended, specifies damages for both willful and negligent noncompliance with the Act. Failure to comply will make the employer liable for actual damages, punitive damages, costs and attorney's fees.

    With these tightened and more stringent requirements on background checks it may save you significant time and money to call Braun Consulting Group with your questions. At Braun we are here to give you the confidence and assurance of having a practical way to comply with these laws.

    1326 Fifth Ave., #339
    Seattle, Washington 98101

  • The Contents of this News Letter are intended for general information
    and should not be construed as legal advise or opinion.
    Click Here to view our Web Site Disclaimer Page.

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