Background Check Government Agencies & Relevant Laws
Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)
The FCRA is the primary federal law enacted in October 1970 that governs the preparation, dissemination, and use of background reports for credit, insurance, or employment purposes. Under the FCRA, users of this information for these purposes must:
- Notify the consumer when an adverse action is taken on the basis of a report
- Identify the company that provided the report so that the consumer may verify or contest its accuracy and completeness
Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
The FTC is the government agency responsible for the administration and interpretation of the FCRA. They exist to protect consumers and prevent anti-competitive business practices.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is the United States Government agency that enforces federal employment discrimination laws. The EEOC investigates, mediates, settles, and files discrimination suits against employers on behalf of employees, ultimately working to eliminate discrimination in the workplace.
The Title VII law is the statue in the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, and national origin. The Title VII law protects against harassment, retaliation, and discriminatory practices in employment decisions including job advertisements, recruiting, benefits, hiring and firing, compensation, training, and more. Employers are responsible for advising their employees of their rights under the Title VII law.
The Brand Handgun Violence Prevention Act was established in 1993 and created the National Instant Criminal Background Check Systems, a database that allows firearm dealers to run quick searches on a prospective buyer’s eligibility.
Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
Enacted in 1966 by President Lyndon B. Johnson, FOIA provides citizens access to any federal agency records, except to the extent that the records are subject to one of several exemptions. The exemptions generally pertain to documents essential to national security interests, vital to law enforcement activities, revealing of trade secrets, subject to litigation, covering financial institutions, and dealing with the location of certain geophysical data.