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Understanding the Fair Credit Reporting Act

The Fair Credit Reporting Act, or FCRA, is a federal act that all of the states have to adhere by. It governs background checks that companies may use by contacting a third party—in-house background checks are not governed. Still, most companies don't have the ability to run full checks on their own and will turn to outside sources.

The FCRA makes it so that arrests that were made seven years ago or more will not legally show up during a background check. However, when convictions are made, those convictions stay on the record for good. Therefore, if you're arrested for a DUI and cleared in court, the company may find out about it for only the next seven years, but that could stay on your record forever if you're convicted of a DUI. Clearly, the court process becomes quite important to your future employment options.

It's interesting to note that the job has to pay $75,000 per year or less to be governed by the FCRA.

It is important to remember that an employer usually can't refuse to hire you just because of a conviction, under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This has been upheld by the courts numerous times. The employer needs a business reason that relates to the conviction to refuse to hire you.

That said, it's not hard for companies to make up reasons not to hire you, when the real reason is a DUI conviction, thus skirting this law. Because of this, if you think you've been treated unfairly because of a DUI, you must know your rights. As noted above, you also need to know all of your legal options when facing charges so that you can protect your future employment options in Nevada.

Source: FindLaw, "DUI and Employment Background Checks," accessed April 15, 2016

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