May 26, 2020

Employers Should be Aware of New Forms for Background Check Compliance

Due to recent federal regulation, employers must follow new disclosure procedures before performing background checks. Effective September 21, 2018, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued updated model disclosure forms mandated by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). The new forms may be accessed here. The last time the CFPB provided a model disclosure form for use by employers performing background checks was 2012.

The amended “Summary of Your Rights” form contains additional explanation of applicant-consumer’s rights, not previously contained in the 2012 version of the form. Specifically, the amended summary of rights explains that applicant-consumers may obtain a “security freeze” on their consumer report at no cost. That mechanism allows consumers to freeze their accounts so that credit reporting agencies cannot release any credit information without the applicant-consumer’s authorization. Additionally, the amended summary of rights form explains that applicant-consumers may place a temporary fraud alert on their account for one year (or seven years for victims of identity theft).

The new forms are effective immediately; however, the CFPB will temporarily permit continued use of the 2012 forms as long as a separate page containing the new information is also provided to the applicant-consumer. The CFPB is currently considering other revisions to the model forms as well.

The FCRA requires strict notice and disclosure requirements, and employers are strongly encouraged to familiarize themselves with these requirements to avoid liability or other consequences. Many states have also enacted statutes that place additional notice or disclosure requirements on employers when obtaining background checks on prospective or current employees.

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About this Author

Faith Whittaker, Dinsmore Law Firm, Cincinnati, Labor and Employment Law Attorney

A partner in the Employment, Labor and Benefits Department, Faith has experience guiding clients through issues that arise in the workplace. She handles employment-related litigation for her clients, who range from local businesses to Fortune 500 companies.

Understanding each client has different tolerances and objectives in dealing with employment matters, Faith is passionate about learning her client’s industry and gaining insight into their operations. While always prepared to vigorously proceed through litigation, she teams with her clients...

Michael B. Mattingly, Labor and Employment Associate, Dinsmore, Law Firm

A member of the Labor and Employment Department, Mike’s background enables him to provide a unique perspective on employment issues, specifically those related to the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA). Having served two overseas combat tours as an Officer in the 101st Airborne Division, Mike understands the practical realities and challenges of military men and women reentering the workforce, from the viewpoint of both the employee and the employer. He is adept at working with employers and guiding them through the nuances of the USERRA, balancing his knowledge of the law with his personal experiences. Mike’s military background, including his service as a Platoon Leader (Iraq) and Company Commander (Afghanistan), has also provided him the leadership and management capabilities necessary to efficiently work through disputes, quickly drilling down to the heart of the matter to find a resolution. 


Zachary focuses his practice on labor and employment issues. He received his J.D. from the University of Cincinnati College of Law, and his experience includes researching cases on appeal from federal district courts and authoring memorandums for cases in areas such as civil rights, employee discrimination, Title IV, various workplace policies and post-conviction relief.

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