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Balch Partner Doug Kauffman Shares Insights into Implications of Eighth Circuit Background Check Ruling

Balch & Bingham's Doug Kauffman, partner in the Birmingham office and member of the Labor & Employment Practice, recently spoke to the Birmingham Business Journal on how the Eleventh Circuit might interpret some of the requirements of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, a federal law that helps to ensure the accuracy, fairness and privacy of the information in consumer credit bureau files, in regards to background checks for employment.

In the article published on June 29, 2022, Doug shares that  to avoid issues when rescinding job offers on the basis of criminal history, employers need to follow the Fair Credit Reporting Act by providing job applicants copies of their criminal background checks to allow them a chance to dispute any potential inaccuracies.  The issue is whether employers must also allow an individual to explain the information contained on a background report, such as the circumstances surrounding a criminal record.

“Since background processes are commonly used in Birmingham for employment purposes, the issue very well could be raised in the Eleventh Circuit,” said Doug. “Birmingham employers should ensure that their background screenings comply with all obligations under the Fair Credit Reporting Act in the event they are using a third-party company to perform such background screens.” 

Doug counsels organizations on how to manage their most valuable assets: their employers. He has counseled large and small employers for over 20 years by helping them stay up to date on the law, regulations and best practices with respect to employment compliance. He also handles complaints or audits by various government agencies, such as the EEOC, the Department of Labor, and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and he litigates all employment issues in court.