All U.S. jurisdictions need to comply with the guidelines established by the Fair Credit Reporting Act or FCRA. In addition to federal guidelines on background checks, an employer has to be cognizant of state laws as to when they can run a background check on you and what checks they can run or what questions they can ask.
For instance, as of 2022, at least 35 states and around 150 local jurisdictions in the U.S. have what’s called “ban-the-box” laws in place. While 35 states have put in place statewide guidelines applicable to state or local government and public agency employment, 15 states have stated that private employers in those states cannot ask about arrest or conviction history on job applications. Those include:
Additionally, 22 cities and counties have ban-the-box laws in place for private employers:
District of Columbia
Kansas City, MO
Los Angeles, CA
Montgomery County, MD
New York, NY
Prince George’s County, MD
San Francisco, CA
St. Louis, MO
Suffolk County, NY
Westchester County, NY
Note: These guidelines do not prevent employers from asking about your arrest or conviction record but do prevent them from asking until a certain stage in the employment process. This could be after the first interview, or only after you receive a conditional offer of employment.
This is so a candidate can be assessed first based on his or her qualifications for the role, without any potential bias. They do not prevent an employer from conducting post employment criminal background checks.
However, when you use consumer reports to make employment decisions, including hiring, retention, promotion or reassignment, you must comply with the FCRA. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) enforces the FCRA. You can read Biometrica’s detailed section on the FCRA here. This page gives you links to state and local jurisdictional guidelines on consumer rights and reports.
On July 7 2022, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a legal interpretation to ensure that companies that use and share credit reports and background reports have a permissible purpose under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. The advisory “makes clear that credit reporting companies and users of credit reports have specific obligations to protect the public’s data privacy. The advisory also reminds covered entities of potential criminal liability for certain misconduct.” For more information on this advisory, click here.
Alabaman consumers need to look to the Federal Trade Commission’s Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), 15 U. S. C. § 1681 et seq.
Birmingham, AL: The city of Birmingham is an exception. In 2016, it. became the first city in Alabama to “Ban the Box” on its hiring applications, a move aimed at helping ex-offenders find jobs and decrease the likelihood that they would return to prison.
Consumers in Alaska need to look to the FTC’s FCRA, 15 U. S. C. § 1681 et seq. and two state rulings: AS 12.62.160 (b) (8) Release and Use of Criminal Justice Information, and the Alaska Personal Information Act (AS 45.48).
The first state ruling effectively allows criminal justice information to be provided for any purpose, so long as the information being released isn’t non-conviction information or correctional treatment information. This law was enacted in 2014. The second state law, the Alaska Personal Information Act, contains sections that deal with security breaches involving PII, credit report and credit score security freezes, etc. You can read more about it here.
In November 2017, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey signed Executive Order 2017-7, which banned specific state agencies from questioning job applicants about their criminal records, or inquiring into an applicant’s arrest or conviction history until after an initial interview. There are exceptions for positions for which state or federal law prohibits a person from holding a job because of a certain past offense. State government employers can check a job applicant’s criminal record — after an initial interview. This order does not apply to private Arizona employers.
Maricopa County, AZ: In December 2017, the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors followed suit by passing HR2435, which barred county agencies from asking applicants about past criminal convictions upfront, but keeping the background investigation requirement for after a conditional job offer was made or the applicant was a finalist in the interview. Pima County has a similar rule in place for county agencies, while the city of Tucson allows background checks only for some city government positions. Glendale, Phoenix and Tempe all have ban-the-box laws for city employees. Notably, none of them have these rules in place for private employers.
Arkansan consumers need to look to the Federal Trade Commission’s Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), 15 U. S. C. § 1681 et seq. Ark. Code Ann. § 16-90-1417 permits those who have successfully petitioned the court to seal their records to deny they were arrested or convicted of the sealed criminal offense.
Pulaski County, AR: Pulaski County, with Little Rock as its county seat, bans county employers from asking job applicants from asking about criminal history until a conditional job offer has been made. The Pine Bluff City Council also passed an ordinance to stop asking applicants about their criminal history.
California has the country’s strictest and most comprehensive consumer privacy and data protection rules. The California Fair Chance Act (CFCA) (Assembly Bill No. 1008), which became effective Jan. 1, 2018, added a new section to the Fair Employment and Housing Act (Government Code § 12952) making it illegal for most employers in California to ask about the criminal record of job applicants before making a job offer. This means ads, job applications, and interview questions cannot include inquiries into an applicant’s criminal record. The purpose of the law is to allow applicants to be judged based on their qualifications. They can, however, run background checks post making an offer but require to inform applicants or employees of the same and receive their assent.
The CCPA or the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 gives California consumers, including employees, more control over the personal information that businesses collect about them and the CCPA regulations provide guidance on how to implement the law. This includes:
- The right to know about the personal information a business collects about them and how it is used and shared;
- The right to delete personal information collected from them (with some exceptions);
- The right to opt-out of the sale of their personal information; and
- The right to non-discrimination for exercising their CCPA rights.
In November 2020, California voters passed Proposition 24 — or the California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA). Many mandates under the CPRA related to employee and applicant data will take effect on Jan. 1, 2023, with a 12-month “look-back” provision. Note: None of this means employers cannot run criminal background checks on applicants, depending on the job requirements, or background check employees; it just means they cannot run checks on applicants prior to making a conditional offer and have to take permission from employees prior to running background checks, let them know what data is being collected, and maintain records on the same.
Local jurisdictions, CA: Alameda and Santa Clara Counties, and the cities of Berkeley, Carson, Compton, East Palo Alto, Oakland, Pasadena, Richmond and Sacramento have ban-the-box rules in place for public employers. The cities of Los Angeles and San Francisco, in addition, also have ban-the-box laws (for job applicants) in place for private employers.
The Colorado Chance to Compete Act, signed in 2019, and applicable to all employers, public and private, from Sept. 1, 2021, prohibits employers with 11 or more employees from:
- Stating in an advertisement or on an application for a position of employment that a person with a criminal history may not apply for the position;
- Inquiring into an applicant’s criminal history on an initial application for a position of employment; or
- Requiring the disclosure of an applicant’s criminal history on an initial application for a position of employment.
There are exceptions, however, like when federal, state, or local laws or regulations exist that prohibit employing a person with a
specific criminal history to a particular position, or when an employer is required by federal, state, or local law or regulation to conduct a criminal history record check for that position.
Does the Colorado law restrict employers from conducting a background check on applicants?
No. An employer may obtain the publicly available criminal background report of an applicant at any time.
Do employers have to hire candidates with criminal records?
No, this law does not require employers to hire candidates with criminal records.
Denver, CO: Interestingly, the City of Denver pared back and updated a 2016 Executive Order 135, on “The Use of Background Checks in Hiring and Employment Decisions.” Originally, Sections 3.1.7 and 3.1.8 of Executive Order No. 135 limited city agency consideration of arrests and required agencies to consider (i) the nature of the conviction, (ii) existence of a “strong correlation” between the conviction and job sought, (iii) the number of convictions, (iv) the recentness of convictions, and (v) any evidence of rehabilitation.
However, in 2018, a new Executive Order was signed, which canceled the previous order, and seemingly in a turnabout, stressed that “City employees are in a position of public trust … and in order to prevent unknowingly employing someone who may present a high risk for impropriety, misconduct, malfeasance, or criminal conduct, City agencies are required to conduct appropriate background checks on all people working for the City…” It went a step further too, emphasizing that “Background checks may be conducted as frequently as necessary, within reason, to maintain the integrity of the workforce.” Do read the quite fascinating Denver Executive Order.
The 2016 Connecticut House Bill 05237, called “An Act Concerning Fair Chance Employment,” and signed into law in June of that year (amended in Jan. 2017), was written to prevent employers from requiring certain employees or prospective employees to disclose any criminal history until the employer had made a conditional offer of employment to such employee or prospective employee, and to ensure that any expunged records would not be part of, or considered in, employment.
It stated, among other things, that “No employer shall inquire about a prospective employee’s prior arrests, criminal charges or convictions on an initial employment application, unless (1) the employer is required to do so by an applicable state or federal law, or (2) a security or fidelity bond or an equivalent bond is required for the position for which the prospective employee is seeking employment.”
Local jurisdictions, CT: The towns of Bridgeport, Hartford, New Haven and Norwich also all have ban-the-box laws in place for public employers, not applicable to the private sector.
Delaware’s 2014 House Bill 167 prohibited a public employer from inquiring into or considering the criminal record, criminal history or credit history or score of an applicant before it makes a conditional offer. It would permit inquiry and consideration of criminal background after the conditional offer has been made. The bill specified that once a background check is conducted, an employer should only consider felonies for 10 years from the completion of sentence, and misdemeanors for 5 years from the completion of sentence.
Local jurisdictions, DE: The city of Wilmington and New Castle County both also have ban-the-box laws in place for public employers.
District of Columbia
In 2014, the District of Columbia Council enacted the Fair Criminal Record Screening Amendment Act of 2014 (FCRSA, the Act), which went into effect on December 17, 2014. This law is popularly known as “Ban the Box” and generally, it prohibits employers in the District from inquiring about job applicants’ arrest record, charges, or convictions prior to a conditional offer of employment. What is interesting about the Washington, DC, law though, is that even once a conditional offer of employment has been extended, employers may
ask ONLY about criminal convictions.
Further, once a conditional offer of employment has been made, employers may only withdraw the offer of employment or take adverse action after considering various factors – such as how close in time the conviction was, how old the applicant was when the offense occurred, and the duties of the job, and such action or decision must be based on a legitimate business reason. While the provisions apply to public and private DC employers, there are exceptions for federal employees, AND for those working in positions that engage with, or provide services to, minors and vulnerable adults.
Florida consumers need to look to the Federal Trade Commission’s Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), 15 U. S. C. § 1681 et seq., for protections.
Local jurisdictions, FL: However, several local jurisdictions have enacted ban-the-box laws for public (or city/county) agencies. These include Broward County and Miami-Dade County, and the cities of Clearwater, Daytona Beach, Gainesville, Fort Myers, Jacksonville, Orlando, Pompano Beach, Sarasota, St. Petersburg, Tampa and Tallahassee. No restriction applies to private employers or public agency vendor.
In February 2015, then Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal signed an Executive Order implementing “Ban-The-Box” hiring polices for state employees, saying that a 2014 commission recognized that disclosing convictions on initial employment applications “creates a barrier to employment.” The order prohibited the use of a criminal record as an automatic bar to employment with a public agency, with an exception for “sensitive governmental positions.”
Local jurisdictions, GA: The counties of Cherokee, Fulton and Macon-Bibb have all enacted ban-the-box legislation for public/city agencies, as have the cities of Albany, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus and Savannah. The city of South Fulton, alone, has also extended ban-the-box laws to public agency vendors. None of these rules or laws apply to private employers.
In 1998, Hawaii became one of the first states to create its version of a ban-the-box law, to prevent discrimination in job applications. In December 2020, it. further tightened its laws, with HB 1782 stating, “Unfortunately, Hawaii’s current ban-the-box law, and specifically its 10-year conviction record ‘look back’ exception, may continue to facilitate employment discrimination against individuals who have a criminal history, but who have long since paid their debt to society, and who pose little to no risk to an employer or the public.”
Hawaii House Bill 1782 applies to public and private employers and vendors, and explicitly states that the “purpose of this Act is to limit the convictions that may be used in employment decisions from all convictions in the most recent 10 years to felony convictions that occurred in the most recent five years and misdemeanor convictions that occurred in the most recent three years.” It adds, however: “This Act is not intended to amend or affect existing exceptions that explicitly allow the use of criminal history-related records for certain occupations (such as department of education employees) and specific circumstances (such as sex offender registration).”
In July 2014, Illinois passed the Job Opportunities for Qualified Applicants Act, by which an employer or employment agency could not inquire about or into, consider, or require disclosure of the criminal record or criminal history of an applicant until the applicant had been determined qualified for a position and been notified that they had been selected for an interview by the employer or employment agency or, if there is not an interview, until after a conditional offer of employment was made to the applicant by the employer or employment agency.
There were exceptions for certain positions, and while the law applied to public and private Illinois employers, it did not prohibit an employer from notifying applicants in writing of the specific offenses that would disqualify an applicant from employment in a particular position due to federal or State law OR the employer’s policy.
Chicago, IL: Four months later, the City of Chicago passed the Chicago Municipal Ordinance 2-160-054. It stated that a criminal conviction, standing alone, could not disqualify an applicant from employment, if a conditional job offer had already been made. The Ordinance mandated employers take the following factors into consideration:
- The nature of the specific offense or offenses.
- The nature of the sentence imposed.
- The applicant’s number of convictions.
- The length of time that has passed since the applicant’s most recent conviction.
- The relationship between the nature of applicant’s crimes and the nature of the relevant position.
- The age of the applicant at the time of his most recent conviction.
- Any evidence of rehabilitation, including, but not limited to, whether the applicant has completed a treatment or counseling program or received a certification of relief from disabilities or good conduct.
- The extent to which the applicant has been open, honest, and cooperative in examining his background.
- Any other information relevant to the applicant’s suitability for the relevant position.
Finally, the Ordinance required that if an employer made a decision not to hire an applicant, based in whole or in part on the applicant’s criminal history, the employer had to let the applicant know of this basis at the time he or she was informed of the decision.
In April 2017, Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb signed into law Public Law 210 (Senate Bill. 312), which banned city or local governments from enacting rules that restricted private employers from accessing a job applicant’s criminal history. This Act effectively banned the City of Indianapolis’s existing ban-the-box legislation.
However, on June 29, 2017, the Indiana governor signed, through Executive Order 17-15, the Fair Chance Hiring Process ordinance, a minor concession. Gov. Holcomb stated, ““While I do not believe governments should dictate employers’ hiring processes, I believe everyone deserves a second chance…” From July 1, 2017, he said the state of Indiana would no longer ask applicants for employment in the executive branch if they had been arrested or convicted of a crime.
The state would continue to conduct background checks on applicants during the hiring process, and applicants for jobs where state law specifically prohibited employment based on certain convictions or pending charges, would continue to be asked about their criminal records.
Iowa consumers need to look to the Federal Trade Commission’s Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), 15 U. S. C. § 1681 et seq., for protections.
Local jurisdictions, IA: The counties of Johnson and Linn, and the city of Waterloo all have laws in place for public employers, with Waterloo also putting ban-the-box laws in place for private employers.
In May 2018, Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer issued Executive Order 18-12, with regard to state employment practices. The order instructed all Executive Branch departments, agencies, boards, and commissions under the jurisdiction of the Office of the Governor to ensure that job applicants were not asked about their criminal record during the initial stage of a state employment application.
The order does not prevent employers from conducting criminal background checks or from excluding such applicants if a law or regulation prohibits those with criminal records from holding that specific position.
Local jurisdictions, KS: Johnson County, and the cities of Wichita, Topeka and Kansas City, all enacted ban-the-box legislation.
Consumers in Kentucky need to look to the FTC’s FCRA, 15 U. S. C. § 1681 et seq. and the following state ruling:
KRS Chapter 367.00 §310 – Consumer reporting agency records restriction. No consumer reporting agency shall maintain any information in its files relating to any charge in a criminal case, in any court of this Commonwealth, unless the charge has resulted in a conviction. This law was enacted in 1980.
Consumers in Louisiana have to abide by the FTC’s FCRA, 15 U. S. C. §1661 et seq. The state itself has no laws governing credit reporting or background reporting. But, there is a law that aims at regulating credit repair organizations called the Credit Repair Services Organizations Act. This state law was enacted to prevent companies that offer credit repair assistance from deceiving consumers with false promises of getting better scores by paying money, which was rampant in Louisiana.
Consumers in Maine need to look to the FTC’s FCRA, 15 U. S. C. § 1681 et seq., for protections. The state had its own FCRA until 2013, but it was repealed as it ran into conflicts with federal law. A new statute was created that follows the federal law closely. While it’s the federal FCRA that is the primary law in this state, Maine has given some additional protection for its consumers.
Maryland consumers have to abide by the FTC’s FCRA, 15 U. S. C. §1661 et seq. and the following state ruling:
Code of Maryland §14-203 (5) – Prohibits reporting of obsolete information. Under this ruling, records of arrest, indictment, or conviction of crime which, from date of disposition, release, or parole, that antedate the report by more than seven years are not permitted to be reported by a CRA. The exception: If the salary of an individual equals or is reasonably expected to equal $20,000 or more, the 7-year restriction does not apply. Maryland has also enacted COMAR §09.03.07.04, which provides operational requirements for CRAs operating within the state, but many of its sections overlap with the federal FCRA.
Consumers in Massachusetts need to look to the FTC’s FCRA, 15 U. S. C. § 1681 et seq., for protections, along with the following state rulings:
As with Maryland, MGL Ch. 93 §52 does not permit CRAs to report an arrest or conviction beyond 7 years, unless the job sought pays in excess of $20,000. This law was enacted in 1974. Consumers in Massachusetts should also look at MGL Chapter 93, Section 52 and MGL Chapter 151, Section 4 (9) for more information.
Michigan consumers have to abide by the FTC’s FCRA, 15 U. S. C. §1661 et seq. and the following state ruling:
Michigan Complied Laws Act 453 of 1976 37.2205a (1) does not allow an employer to maintain a record of arrest or misdemeanor in non-conviction cases. However, this section does not apply to information relative to a felony charge before conviction or dismissal. Michigan also has a state ruling that consumers can look into to regulate credit repair organizations to prevent frauds. That law is called the Credit Services Organizations Act and can be found at MCL 445.1822.
Consumers in Minnesota need to look to the FTC’s FCRA, 15 U. S. C. § 1681 et seq., for protections. The state has no ruling governing CRAs. It does, however, have a statute that includes in its purview companies that consider themselves credit repair organizations.
These companies have to adhere to the statute, which pertains to information that may appear on an employment background check, and provide disclosures to consumers and allow consumers to opt out of a contract. The statute — Minnesota Statutes 2003 13C.02 — primarily requires credit repairers to provide disclosures to consumers in writing. This disclosure is to be provided to the consumer before the consumer report is obtained or caused to be prepared. The written disclosure should also give the consumer an option to obtain a copy of the report.
Mississippi consumers have to abide by the FTC’s FCRA, 15 U. S. C. §1661 et seq.
Consumers in Missouri need to look to the FTC’s FCRA, 15 U. S. C. § 1681 et seq., for protections. Apart from the federal FCRA, Missouri (like Minnesota, for example) also has rules in place that credit repair organizations have to follow when it comes to consumer reports. These organizations have to provide disclosures to consumers, and allow them to opt out of a contract if they want to.
Montana consumers have to abide by the FTC’s FCRA, 15 U. S. C. §1661 et seq. and the following state rulings:
Montana Code Annotated 2003 31-3-112 —This statute does not permit CRAs to make consumer reports that contain information regarding records of arrest, indictment, or conviction of a crime or any other adverse item of information which antedates the reports by over 7 years. Section 31-3-126 provides that: If a CRA is providing a report for employment purposes, and that contains a public record likely to have a negative effect on the consumer, the CRA shall either notify the consumer of the report, or make sure it has followed strict procedures to ensure the information is complete and up to date.
Other consumer protection laws in the state, all found at 31-3-103, et seq., also add to consumer rights in Montana. One’s credit rating in Montana is considered a property right (31-3-103), for instance; 31-3-111 and 112 provide for permissible purpose for the use of credit reports (similar to the FTC’s federal FCRA); while 31-3-124 provides for a dispute procedure that also follows the FCRA.
Consumers in Nebraska need to look to the FTC’s FCRA, 15 U. S. C. § 1681 et seq., for protections and the following state ruling:
Nebraska Credit Report Protection Act, Ch. 8, Article 26 — This statute gives consumers the right to a security freeze on their credit files, and also lists out the rights and responsibilities of the consumer and credit bureaus when it comes to placing a freeze on a consumer’s file.
Nevada consumers have to abide by the FTC’s FCRA, 15 U. S. C. §1661 et seq. and the following state rulings:
Nevada Revised Statutes 598C.150 (2) — This allows the purging of information from the records of a CRA and has guidelines around the non-disclosure of purged information. It requires CRAs to periodically purge from its files, and not disclose (except as otherwise provided by a specific state statute): any other civil judgment, a report of criminal proceedings, or other adverse information which precedes the repot by more than 7 years.
The state also has a statute with a provision that requires a person procuring a consumer report from a CRA with the intention of selling the report to clearly disclose the aforementioned purpose to the agency. Nevada state law, like the federal FCRA, also requires the CRA to furnish a report to a consumer upon request with all the sources of information, and also a list of all those individuals and organizations who have seen the report within the last two years if for employment purposes, and the past six months for any other purposes.
Again, as with the FCRA, the state law also provides a dispute procedure for any consumer who seeks to challenge inaccurate information. If a company takes adverse action against an individual based on information in a consumer report, the state law requires the company to notify that person of the action taken and provide information of the reporting agency that provided the information.
Consumers in New Hampshire need to look to the FTC’s FCRA, 15 U. S. C. § 1681 et seq., for protections and the following state rulings:
HRS/RSA 359-B:5 — No CRA can make consumer reports containing the following information, unless authorized under paragraph II of this statute: Records of arrest, indictment, or conviction of crime which from date of disposition, release, or parole, antedate the report by more than seven years. Exception: If the salary of an individual equals or is reasonable expected to equal $20,000 or more, the seven year-restriction does not apply.
RSA 359-B:4 — This statute provides limits for purposes for which one can access a consumer’s credit file, which are very similar to those found in the FCRA.
RSA 359-B:11 — This ruling provides for a dispute procedure process when a consumer wishes to point out inaccuracies in their reports.
Separately, the state also provides that: If a CRA is providing a report for employment purposes, and that contains a public record likely to have a negative effect on the consumer, the CRA shall either notify the consumer of the report, or make sure it has followed strict procedures to ensure the information is complete and up to date.
New Jersey consumers have to abide by the FTC’s FCRA, 15 U. S. C. §1661 et seq. and the following state rulings:
New Jersey Fair Credit Reporting Act – C:56.11-28 — This law is a very close reflection of the federal FCRA but includes some provisions that are specific to the state. It provides requirements for the furnishing of consumer reports, when they are allowed to be accessed, consumer disclosure requirements when they request their credit files, dispute resolution processes, and remedies.
Consumers in New Mexico need to look to the FTC’s FCRA, 15 U. S. C. § 1681 et seq., for protections and the following state rulings:
New Mexico Statute 56-3-6 — This statute basically does not permit credit bureaus to report arrests and indictments pending trial, or convictions of crimes for more than seven years from the date of release or parole. In cases where a full pardon is granted or a conviction didn’t result from the arrest, that information can no longer be reported.
New York consumers have to abide by the FTC’s FCRA, 15 U. S. C. §1661 et seq. and the following state rulings:
New York State Consolidated Laws Article 25 Section 380-j — This statute says that a CRA cannot report information relative to an arrest or criminal charge unless there has been a conviction for such arrest. A conviction may not be reported by over seven years from the date of conviction, release, or parole. However, this law does not apply if the position of employment is reasonably expected to pay $25,000 or more.
Consumers in North Carolina need to look to the FTC’s FCRA, 15 U. S. C. § 1681 et seq., for protections and the following state ruling:
The state’s Identity Theft Protection Act — While this statute does not govern the use of credit reports or how the credit reporting bureaus must act, Article 2A, §75-60, et seq. lists out responsibilities of businesses to protect from disseminating personal information about consumers. For example, this law provides for the protection of social security numbers when given out to a business. The organization or business is not allowed to make that information public and cannot require the consumer to transmit their social security number over the internet or use it as access to a website. This information cannot be sold without consent, publicized, or given away. The statute also provides for the rights of consumers to a security freeze on their credit report, and provides for the means to place a freeze and remove one too.
North Dakota consumers have to abide by the FTC’s FCRA, 15 U. S. C. §1661 et seq. and a state ruling that provides for the placement of security freezes on one’s reports.
Consumers in Ohio need to look to the FTC’s FCRA, 15 U. S. C. § 1681 et seq., for protections and a state ruling:
Ohio Credit Services Organization Act — This law applies to credit repair organizations who are regulated in terms of what kind of promises, charges, and disclosures must be provided to consumers that wish to use these services.
Oklahoma consumers have to abide by the FTC’s FCRA, 15 U. S. C. §1661 et seq. and state rulings:
Oklahoma House Bill 2492 — This law says that before requesting a consumer report for employment purposes, a written notice must be provided to the consumer informing them of it, allowing them to request a copy of the report, and should be given free of charge.
The state also has a law that provides for the rights of Oklahomans to place a security freeze on their credit file.
Consumers in Oregon need to look to the FTC’s FCRA, 15 U. S. C. § 1681 et seq., for protections and the following state rulings:
ORS 746.600, et seq. — This statute governs the gathering and disclosure of personal information and is particularly targeted at the insurance industry.
ORS 659A.320 — This one provides that it is an unlawful employment practice for an employer to obtain or use for employment purposes information contained in the credit history of an applicant for employment or an employee, or to refuse to hire, discharge, demote, suspend, retaliate or otherwise discriminate against an applicant or an employee with regard to promotion, compensation or the terms, conditions or privileges of employment based on information in the credit history of the applicant or employee. But there are exceptions if the potential employee is applying to a financial institution of any kind or to law enforcement.
Pennsylvania consumers have to abide by the FTC’s FCRA, 15 U. S. C. §1661 et seq. and the following state ruling:
The state’s Credit Reporting Agency Act — This applies solely to the issues of a security freeze on a credit report, including provisions on how and when a freeze may be placed and how it can get removed.
Consumers in Rhode Island need to look to the FTC’s FCRA, 15 U. S. C. § 1681 et seq., for protections and the following state ruling:
The Consumer Empowerment and Identity Theft Prevention Act — This applies solely to the issues of a security freeze on a credit report, including provisions on how and when a freeze may be placed and how it can get removed.
South Carolina consumers have to abide by the FTC’s FCRA, 15 U. S. C. §1661 et seq. and the following state rulings:
The Consumer Identity Theft Protection Act – §37-20-110 — This statute helps consumers when their credit reports are affected. The law provides various provisions for CRAs when it comes to consumer reports for credit card applications.
The state’s laws also allow a person who learns or reasonably suspects that the person is the victim of identity theft to initiate a law enforcement investigation. The law enforcement agency shall take the report, provide the complainant with a copy of the report, and begin an investigation.
South Carolina is the only state where a consumer who is the victim of identity theft may go to court and obtain a judicial determination of their own innocence from any accounts opened or crimes committed in that consumer’s name. The state laws also contain security freezing and unfreezing guidelines.
Consumers in South Dakota need to look to the FTC’s FCRA, 15 U. S. C. § 1681 et seq., for protections. The state also has a law that provides rights and responsibilities for security freezes to protect one’s credit file, and guidelines on how it can be unfrozen.
Tennessee consumers have to abide by the FTC’s FCRA, 15 U. S. C. §1661 et seq. for protections. The state also has a law that provides rights and responsibilities for security freezes to protect one’s credit file, and guidelines on how it can be unfrozen.
Consumers in Texas need to look to the FTC’s FCRA, 15 U. S. C. § 1681 et seq., for protections, and the following state rulings:
Business & Commerce Code – Chapter 20 § 20.05 — This statute says that reporting of the following information is banned: Consumer reports containing information related to a record of arrest, indictment, or conviction of a crime in which the date of disposition, release, or parole predates the consumer report by more than seven years, except as provided by Subsection (b). The exception: If the salary of an individual equals or is reasonable expected to equal $75,000 or more, the seven-year restriction does not apply. Chapter 20 of this law also has guidelines for check verifying businesses, governing the kind of disclosures they have to make to consumers.
The state also has a law that provides rights and responsibilities for security freezes to protect one’s credit file, and guidelines on how it can be unfrozen, like several other states.
Utah consumers have to abide by the FTC’s FCRA, 15 U. S. C. §1661 et seq. and other federal regulations for protections like the Credit Repair Organizations Act and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act.
Consumers in Vermont need to look to the FTC’s FCRA, 15 U. S. C. § 1681 et seq., for protections. But the state also has its own FCRA with three main components:
The first component deals with disclosures of reports to consumers and contains provisions around that. Part two deals with how much CRAs can charge for providing a consumer with their report. The third part contains rights and responsibilities around security freezes. Vermont also uses the term ‘credit report’ instead of ‘consumer report’ as under the federal FCRA.
Virginia consumers have to abide by the FTC’s FCRA, 15 U. S. C. §1661 et seq. and other federal regulations for protections like the Credit Repair Organizations Act and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act.
Consumers in Washington need to look to the FTC’s FCRA, 15 U. S. C. § 1681 et seq., for protections. But the state also has its own FCRA that provides specific protections for consumers in Washington including:
The state’s Fair Credit Reporting Act, RCW 19.182, et seq — This statute lists out the permissible reasons why a CRA can disclose a consumer’s report to a third party, even in the absence of a credit application. Another subsection (RCW 19.182.040) under this act lists out provisions regarding prohibited information.
Unless explicitly authorized under this subsection, no CRA can make a consumer report containing records of arrest, indictment, or conviction of crime that, from date of disposition, release, or parole, that antedates the report by over seven years. As with several other states, there is an exception to this rule: If the salary of an individual equals or is reasonable expected to equal $20,000 or more, the 7-year restriction does not apply.
Section 19.182.050 of the Act deals with “investigative reports.” The law says that investigative reports can only be used for employment purposes. Once the report is procured, the consumer has to receive a disclosure informing them that a report is being obtained about them.
Section 19.182.090 of this Act covers redressal of inaccurate information on consumer reports. If a consumer claims that the information appearing on their report is inaccurate, the CRA is required to conduct a reasonable investigation into it.
West Virginia consumers have to abide by the FTC’s FCRA, 15 U. S. C. §1661 et seq. and a related state ruling:
The state ruling covers protections offered to co-signors of loans. It protects them from having their credit harmed without knowing that the primary obligor they co-signed a loan for failed to pay it. It goes on to say that no co-signer can be held liable for repayment of the said loan. The only exception to this is in cases where a co-signer has been given (and signs) a separate notice which clearly explains his liability in the event of default by the consumer and also receives a copy of any disclosure.
Consumers in Wisconsin need to look to the FTC’s FCRA, 15 U. S. C. § 1681 et seq., for protections. But the state also has another ruling that provides protections specific to the state, including:
Wisconsin Fair Employment Act (WFEA) — This statue applies to all other aspects of employment such as discrimination and the handling of disabilities, and prohibits employers, except those filling bonded positions, from asking job applicants about arrests not resulting in convictions. The only exception to this case is if the charges against someone are currently pending. Employers also aren’t allowed to discharge or deny employment solely because of an arrest record.
As with other states, Wisconsin also has separate laws that apply to credit repair organizations.
Consumers in Wyoming need to look to the FTC’s FCRA, 15 U. S. C. § 1681 et seq., for protections. But the state also has its own version of a law that provides specific protections for consumers including giving citizens the right to place security freezes on their credit files. It also provides how and when a freeze may be placed, how it can be removed both permanently and temporarily, and the charges that the reporting bureaus may charge to place or remove a freeze.
(Work in Progress)