Credit History Inquiries
The ability of an employer to require credit reports for employment purposes is limited under the California Consumer Credit Reporting Agencies Act and the Investigative Consumer Reporting Agencies Act. Certain safeguards must be in place to protect the employee, including written notice to the person about whom the report is requested; opportunity of the employee to request a copy of the report which would be provided at no charge; and an opportunity for the employee to obtain the name and address of any agency which provided information to an employer. Generally credit agencies cannot include certain information in their credit reports under California Civil Code §1785.13.
When an employer is obtaining an “investigative” consumer report for employment purposes other than promotion or reassignment, then the employer must notify the applicant or employee in writing within three days that an investigative consumer report is being requested. Notification must state that the investigative consumer report is being requested regarding the employee’s or applicant’s character, general reputation, personal characteristics and mode of living. The notice must also contain the name of the consumer reporting agency conducting the investigation, as well as a summary of the contents of California Civil Code §1786.22.
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