6 0 0 H A R R I S O N S T R E E T S U I T E 1 2 0
S A N F R A N C I S C O , C A L I F O R N I A 9 4 1 0 7
T E L : 4 1 5 8 6 4 8 8 4 8 W W W . L A S - E L C . O R G
Credit Reports and Background
Y O U R L E G A L R I G H T S
1. Does an employer have the right to access my credit report?
Under the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act and California Consumer Reporting Agencies Act,
anyone with a “legitimate business need” may access your credit report. Employers have a
legitimate business need to see an applicant’s or employee’s consumer credit as part of their
background check as long as the employer uses this report to evaluate the applicant for hire and
to evaluate a current employee for promotion, retention, or reassignment.
2. Does an employer need to provide notice that it is accessing my credit report?
Yes. If an employer accesses an employee’s or applicant’s credit report, the employer must give
written notice to the individual ahead of time. This notice must include the source of the report
and should allow the applicant to receive a copy of the report at no charge. The written notice
• Clear and straightforward so that the applicant or employee knows a credit report will be
obtained for employment purposes; and
• A separate, stand-alone document that is not combined or “buried” with other
documents or information.
Exception: Notice is not required if an employer uses a third party, such as an investigation
agency, to conduct an investigation of an employee suspected of wrongdoing or misconduct, such as
sexual harassment. In such case, the employers also not required to disclose the findings to the
employee before any adverse action is taken.
3. Does the employer need my permission to access my credit report?
If an employer uses a third party to conduct a background check or to access the credit report of
an employee or applicant, the employer must obtain written consent prior to beginning the
investigation/accessing the credi