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How much background check info can we divulge?

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in Employment Background Check,Human Resources

Q. We terminated an employee’s employment because of a recent conviction. A state agency has asked for details about the reason for the termination. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, what can we share with the agency regarding details on background checks?

A. The Fair Credit Reporting Act does not prohibit disclosure of consumer reports to third parties. However, the Credit Reporting Agency that performed the background check might include such a prohibition in its end-user agreement, so you should check the agreement. Disclosing information in background reports may cause employee relations issues, though, so disclose such information only with the employee’s consent, unless the business justification for doing so outweighs employee relations concerns. Consumer report information might also be disclosed in response to a subpoena.

Holly M. Robbins, Esq., is a shareholder and advises clients out of Littler Mendelson’s Minneapolis office.

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