During the holiday season, many people apply for part-time and seasonal jobs. Your employment application may be rejected because of poor credit – but employers must follow the law before doing so. Unfortunately, employment credit checks are permitted under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”). The FCRA allows employers to request credit reports on job applicants and existing employees. However, employers must comply with three requirements:
- Notify the applicant prior to running a credit report;
- Advise the applicant that he/she may be rejected from employment based in whole or in part on information contained within the credit report; and
- Provide a copy of the credit report and a written summary of the applicant’s dispute rights.
If you apply for a job and think you’ve been rejected because of your credit, you may have a legal claim. The FCRA protects you if you were not properly notified or if you were rejected based upon credit report information that is incorrect, false or outdated.
Employment credit checks can be an unfair barrier to finding work so try to be proactive in managing your credit report before you apply. For more information, visit http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0157-employment-background-checks. The FTC has more helpful links on employment credit and background check issues.