Identity Theft - One More Reason To Protect Your Credit

While employers are increasingly able to scrutinize job applicants during this difficult job market, candidates are being evaluated on a variety of key factors. Some of these factors include experience, computer skills, education, technical skills, references, general knowledge about the industry and of course interviewing skills. But, there is one more factor that job applicants may not be aware of - that is being evaluated on personal credit reports. This practice has become increasingly popular among employers-which gives not only job applicants, but current employees one more reason to protect and monitor their credit.

According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), employers may access consumer reports when evaluating potential new hires or even when evaluating current employees for promotion, reassignment, and retention-as long as they comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). This law ensures that employers give individuals written notice and that the individuals agree to credit reports being used for employment purposes. If the information from the credit report results in a negative employment decision, it also ensures that individuals are notified immediately and furnished with the credit report.

Employers are very likely to follow these provisions because of the substantial penalties for employers failing to comply with the FCRA. Any individual who has had his/her rights violated under the FCRA has the opportunity to sue for damages in federal court and to seek punitive damages. The FTC, other federal agencies, and the states may also sue employers for non-compliance and obtain civil penalties.

For further information, contact Louis P. Stanasolovich, CFP at (412) 635-9210 or e-mail him at legend@legend-financial.com.

More Online Security Tips