Sidebar to the article In Search of a Job: Criminal Records as Barriers to Employment, by Amy L. Solomon, published in NIJ Journal issue no. 270.
It is important that job applicants know their rights. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires employers to receive an applicant's permission, usually in writing, before asking a background screening company for a criminal history report. If the applicant does not give permission, the application for employment may not get reviewed. If a person does give permission but does not get hired because of information in the report, the potential employer has several legal obligations. Specifically, they must tell the individual:
- The name, address and telephone number of the company that supplied the criminal history report.
- That the company that supplied the criminal history information did not make the decision to take the adverse action and cannot give specific reasons for it.
- About his or her right to dispute the accuracy or completeness of any information in the report, and his or her right to an additional free report from the company that supplied the criminal history report, if requested within 60 days of the adverse action.
For More Information
- Reentry MythBusters on the EEOC guidance (pdf, 1 page)
- FCRA and criminal background checks (pdf, 1 page)
- Revised EEOC guidance, issued April 25, 2012
About This Article
This article was published as part of NIJ Journal issue number 270, published May 2012, as a sidebar to the article In Search of a Job: Criminal Records as Barriers to Employment by Amy L. Solomon