Don't Gamble On Complying With the Fair Credit Reporting Act
by Michael Fox
If you have thoughts about whether or not you really need to comply with ALL of the requirements of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, such as actually notifying applicants/employees before taking an adverse act based on the information you obtained, you might check out the Consent Decree signed by the Imperial Palace casinos in Nevada and Mississippi, which came with a hefty $325,000 price tag.
In addition to writing the initial check, there is also an injunction against future violations, and some of the other things that employers hate having to do, such as getting a signed acknowledgement from anyone currently (or who is hired in the next five years) who handles consumer reports that they have received a copy of the Consent Decree and injunction. Talk about salt in the wound. And of course there is the publicity, such as the article in the industry trade publication, Gaming News, not to mention the Federal Trade Commission's own press release.
Notice that the link is to the FTC website, which is the enforcing agency, and also note that based on the injunction it appears the casinos had done the first compliance step of obtaining the consent of applicants to obtain consumer reports. Although this did actually involve "credit reports," remember that phrase no longer appears anywhere in the FCRA. Now the operative word is "consumer report", which as explained in this FTC letter extends the requirements which were (allegedly) violated here to a much broader range of information than an individual's credit history.