Employer Credit Checks

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Most Common Employment Law Issues:

Can an Employer Check My Personal Credit Report?

The Fair Credit Reporting Act requires credit bureau agencies to share a person's credit history with any party who has a legitimate business need for the information. Generally, employers qualify under the federal law and are allowed access to this information for purposes of deciding whether to hire, promote, or terminate an employee.

Does the Employer Need My Permission before Running a Credit Check?

Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, an employer must have your permission before obtaining your credit report. The document that you sign giving the employer permission to run a credit report must be its own separate document, meaning that it cannot be merely a paragraph in a larger job application form or employment contract. If a potential employer refuses to hire you based at least in part on an item in your credit report, the law requires that the employer give you a copy of the report along with the contact information of the credit bureau that issued the report and written instructions on how to challenge the accuracy of the credit report. Even though you do have the right to refuse to give the employer permission to run a credit report, your refusal may raise the employer's suspicion and give the employer reason to refuse to hire you, promote you, or retain you as an employee.

Can I Be Fired If My Employer Discovers that I Have Filed for Bankruptcy?

It is against federal law for an employer to terminate an employee on the basis of that employee's bankruptcy filing.

Do I Need a Lawyer for my Credit Report Problem?

Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, an employer has the right to base employment decisions on the result of your credit report. However, if you believe that you have been refused a position or wrongfully terminated for illegal reasons (e.g., discrimination, filing for bankruptcy), you need to consult an employment attorney. An employment law lawyer can help you understand your rights and file a complaint against an employer if necessary.

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Last Modified: 06-25-2014 04:18 PM PDT

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