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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2019
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    4

    Default Does the FCRA Cover Records Obtained from the State Police

    My question involves labor and employment law for the state of: WA
    If a potential employer pulls criminal records from the State Patrol are they exempt from damages for violations of the FCRA?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    7,297

    Default Re: Background Check and the Fcra

    Quote Quoting Somey
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    My question involves labor and employment law for the state of: WA
    If a potential employer pulls criminal records from the State Patrol are they exempt from damages for violations of the FCRA?
    The federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) only applies to reports that the employer gets from a consumer reporting agency (CRA). A CRA is defined to mean "any person which, for monetary fees, dues, or on a cooperative nonprofit basis, regularly engages in whole or in part in the practice of assembling or evaluating consumer credit information or other information on consumers for the purpose of furnishing consumer reports to third parties, and which uses any means or facility of interstate commerce for the purpose of preparing or furnishing consumer reports." FCRA 603(f). So if the employer used a third party background check the FCRA would certainly apply. The State Patrol is not a CRA based on that definition. So the employer can check criminal records directly with the State Patrol or the courts and the FCRA would not apply. Employers are allowed to do their own background checks by directly checking public records without having to follow the rules in the FCRA. It's when they pay some third party credit or background check company that the FCRA comes into play.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Background Check and the Fcra

    It seems they they figured out a loophole then. A lot of info out there states there’s a requirement to have documents signed authorizing the background check and failure to do so will result in violations by the employer. I guess I have no recourse in my situation.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    1,122

    Default Re: Background Check and the Fcra

    Not a loophole, just how the law is written. Generally most employers/recruiters will get a background check authorization as best business practice. But in the end, public records such as the State Patrol are just that. Any one can look at any time for pretty much any reason due to open records.

    I don't see any recourse if the employer is not using a third party under FCRA unless you can find a case under nondiscrimination law. But your state is not one of mine and I have no idea if there is any recourse under state law for the information they used to not hire. Did they specifically state what the issue was to you? If not, do you know what it is and does the record relate to the job position (i.e. a teller job vs a conviction for stealing) or how long ago the violation was?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    16,954

    Default Re: Background Check and the Fcra

    Quote Quoting Somey
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    It seems they they figured out a loophole then. A lot of info out there states there’s a requirement to have documents signed authorizing the background check and failure to do so will result in violations by the employer. I guess I have no recourse in my situation.
    That's right. If you want the job you sign the consent.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Background Check and the Fcra

    My issue was from o my sending a pic of ID to next day a phone call stating ummm “you didn’t pass I don’t know they don’t tell me Why”. I researched the heck out of it because that was just asinine on the employers part. As I researched I started seeing a lot of info on the FRCA rules for checks. The rules made sense I would have been given the info I needed to fix any problems just a better way of dealing with it. I kept searching the legalities until I read State records don’t apply and that’s what led me here. I was hoping to push the law on the employer for “ I don’t know why they don’t tell me” BS way of dealing with people.
    Thanking all of you for your help.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    23,956

    Default Re: Background Check and the Fcra

    "You didn't pass, they didn't tell me why" translates to, "You didn't get the job and we don't want an argument about it".

    They do not owe you a job. Even if you managed to use FCRA to force a reason from them, it wouldn't force them to give you the job even if you did "fix it".

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Background Check and the Fcra

    Not asking them for the job. Just better disclosure. I should not have to chase the answers myself.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    23,956

    Default Re: Background Check and the Fcra

    Unless FCRA applies, and it doesn't sound as if it does, you're not entitled to reasons under any law.

    "You didn't get the job" is the only answer you get unless they choose to include more.

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