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Beginning January 1, 2013, employers are required to provide a new version of the form entitled “Summary of Your Rights Under the FCRA” (“Summary of Rights”) to individuals before taking any adverse action based on the contents of a consumer report.

Importantly, the adverse action process that employers are to follow under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”) has not changed, only the Summary of Rights form. The FCRA applies when an employer causes a “consumer report” (e.g., a criminal background check,) to be prepared by a third party and the employer uses that consumer report for employment purposes, such as evaluating a job applicant.  Even before obtaining such a report, the federal law requires an employer to give a written disclosure to the individual and obtain his/her written consent.

The FCRA further requires that five business days before taking adverse action, based in whole or in part on a consumer report, an employer must provide an individual with: (1) a copy of the consumer report; and (2) the Summary of Rights form.  The newly created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has the new form available on its web site.

Additionally, the list of contacts included at the end of the Summary of Rights has been updated and expanded.  Prior to January 1, 2013, employers should replace the old Summary of Rights form with the new form available at