Is It Legal to Run a Background Check Without Permission in Florida?

No, it is not legal to run a background check without getting the subject’s permission first.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is a federal law that protects consumers by regulating credit reports and background reports. The FCRA provides important rights to job applicants and employees. The FCRA requires that background reports be accurate, that employers have authorization from the employee to obtain the report, and that employers give employees notice before taking any action against them.

If an employer violated your FCRA rights, you may be able to file a claim to recover damages. An attorney at Farmer, Jaffe, Weissing, Edwards, Fistos & Lehrman, P.L. can help. Call us at 800-400-1098 to go over your case.

Disclosure and Consent Requirements Under the FCRA

Employers often conduct background checks on job applicants, including a credit check. Employers must notify you in advance if they intend to obtain a background report concerning you.

The FCRA requires pre-hire background checks only when an employer has first provided a “clear and conspicuous written disclosure” and the applicant authorizes the report. Employers usually provide these disclosures for employees or applicants in job application packages or during job interviews.

The disclosure and consent form should not contain other disclosures or seek consent for any other purposes.

What is “adverse action” under the FCRA?

If the employer plans to take “adverse action” against the job applicant or employee based on the report, then the employer must notify the applicant in advance of taking any such action. Adverse action includes:

  • Denial of employment
  • Termination
  • Demotion
  • Any other decision by the employer that “adversely affects any current or prospective employee.”

Before taking any adverse action, the employer must provide the employee with written notice, a copy of the background report, and a written summary of rights.

Protect and Exercise Your Rights if an Employer Violated the FCRA

The FCRA affords you the right to file a claim seeking damages if an employer violates your rights. You may have a claim if:

  • An employer failed to properly disclose to you that they were obtaining your credit report
  • An employer obtained your background report without your authorization
  • An employer failed to provide you with written notice of adverse action before declining to hire you
  • You were not hired because of mistakes on your background report

Call for a Free Consultation with a Florida Credit Check Lawyer

Have you been denied employment because of a background check?  Do you believe that your FCRA rights were violated? If so, you may be able to protect your rights and obtain damages in court.

We’d like to help you to protect your rights and fight for fair compensation. Contact our Fair Credit Reporting Act attorneys at 800-400-1098.