Credit Reports and Employment: Help from a Credit Attorney
When you apply for a new job or are being considered for a promotion, your employer or potential employer may do a background check, and in the process access your credit report. In fact, it’s estimated that about half of all employers pull credit reports on potential employees. An employer credit check is perfectly legal – providing the employer follows certain procedures in accordance with the law. Here’s what you need to know about employment credit reports and how a credit attorney can help.
When it comes to credit reports and employment, an employer must abide by the Fair Credit Reporting Act. This means that your employer (or potential employer, if you’re a job applicant) must inform you that the company intends to contact consumer reporting agencies and obtain your credit report. But that’s not all. The employer must also obtain your express permission to access your credit report. This typically involves the employer asking you to sign a consent form. Further, if an employer is going to use your credit report as a factor in determining whether or not to hire you or promote you (or take another adverse action against you), he must let you know that in advance. Finally, if he does take an adverse action after reviewing your credit report, he is required by law to send you a notification to that effect.
If your employer or potential employer hasn’t followed each of these steps, he is in violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). With the help of a credit attorney, you can file a federal lawsuit for violations of the FCRA. You can receive actual damages, or between $100 and $1,000 – whichever is more. In addition, you can receive punitive damages and attorney fees.
If you believe your employer or potential employer has violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act, contact us at 203-529-5100. A credit attorney will provide you with a free case evaluation, and will represent you for zero out-of-pocket cost if your rights have been violated.