A number of states have their own rules for regulating background checks performed by CRA’s. While the FCRA allows criminal records to be reported indefinitely, a few states limit that window to seven (7) years, most notably California.
Reporting criminal records beyond the industry best‐practice of seven years could be viewed as beyond a reasonable window under the EEOC guidelines.
The obvious quest resulting from the seven year reporting rule is “when does the seven years begin to run?”
The general rule is that the seven years begin to run from the date the subject is free of physical custody, regardless of whether the person was on parole or probation.
In other words, the seven years begins when the subjected is no longer under the control of the court.
There is an increasing movement across the nation to limit the use of personal credit histories in the evaluation for employment. Here we return to the basic concept of having a permissible purpose, and clearly many positions do not.
Denying employment to a person where their personal credit standing has no bearing whatsoever on their ability to perform their job is both legally and morally wrong.
Generally, personal credit reports are allowed in those states that impose regulation to require any of the following conditions to be met:
- Does the position routinely require the handling of cash in excess of $10K?
- Does the position have access to confidential personal information regards customers, employees and businesses?
- Is the position managerial with signature authority?