New Year, New Policies and Procedures

A new year is a great time to review your compliance with any updated rules and regulations.


On the background screening front, changes have been made to the federal register that organizations should be aware of. When Congress created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) in the wake of the Great Recession, the CFPB took over some of the enforcement responsibilities that were being handled by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), including portions of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). To reflect this change, all providers and users of consumer reports must update their applicable FCRA forms by January 1, 2013.


For most businesses, this means you will be getting an updated copy of a document titled “Notice to Users of Consumer Reports: Obligations of Users Under the FCRA” from your background screening provider. You should make sure you have updated a document titled “Summary of Your Rights Under the FCRA” in your physical and digital records.


If you’re not familiar with the “Summary of Your Rights Under the FCRA,” it is a document businesses may be required to provide to applicants as part of the background screening process.

  • Employers must provide their applicants with a copy of their report and the “Summary of Rights…” before taking any adverse action, and
  • Businesses must provide your applicants with a notice that an investigative consumer report “may be made” on them and a copy of the “Summary of Rights…” if you are requesting an investigative consumer report as defined by the FCRA.


As you are updating your background screening documents, you may also want to review your policies and procedures for compliance with the EEOC’s April 25, 2012, guidance on the use of criminal records;  with new 2012 and 2013 state laws on the use of social media in the hiring process; and with the FCRA in general. For links to the updated FCRA forms, please visit the Advanced Reporting Blog at, and don’t hesitate to call if you have any questions.