Ninth Circuit: More Guidance on Standalone Disclosures for Background Checks


All Employers with AK, AZ, CA, HI, ID, MT, NV, OR, WA, Guam, and Mariana Islands Employees


March 30, 2020


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(888) 378-2456

When obtaining background or credit reports, the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires employers to provide the applicant or employee with a disclosure of their right to obtain a copy of the report, and obtain written authorization before requesting the reports. Although the authorization may be on the same page as the disclosure, no other information may be present.

In Walker v. Fred Myer, Inc., the Ninth Circuit provided clarification on what may or may not be included in the disclosure, such as a statement that the report is being obtained for employment purposes, will include information on the person’s “character, general reputation, personal characteristics, and mode of living,” what types of searches the report will include, and identifying contact information for the background check company. A summary of individual rights to request and inspect their file from the background check company was considered extraneous.

Additionally, although individuals must receive a copy of the report and “summary of rights” document, they do not have a right to discuss the report directly with the employer, only the background check company.

Action Items

  1. Have FCRA disclosures and noticed reviewed for compliance.
  2. Subscribers can call our HR On-Call Hotline at (888) 378-2456 for further assistance.

Disclaimer: This document is designed to provide general information and guidance concerning employment-related issues. It is presented with the understanding that ManagEase is not engaged in rendering any legal opinions. If a legal opinion is needed, please contact the services of your own legal adviser.

© 2020 ManagEase

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