A background check is information that is compiled on an individual which may be considered when determining eligibility for employment or housing. An employer or property manager determines what components to include in the background check based on the industry, position or housing unit. The components may include: criminal history information, civil records, driver records, employment records, educational information, license verification, credit information and reference checks. Background checks may also include drug testing, a physical, and even psychological evaluations or assessments. To determine which components may be included in a background check, applicants are encouraged to consult with their prospective employers and property managers.
Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) a background check is termed a “Consumer Report” or “Investigative Consumer Report” and is defined as:
Section 603(d) Consumer Report.
In general. The term “consumer report” means any written, oral, or other communication of any information by a consumer reporting agency bearing on a consumer’s creditworthiness, credit standing, credit capacity, character, general reputation, personal characteristics, or mode of living which is used or expected to be used or collected in whole or in part for the purpose of serving as a factor in establishing the consumer’s eligibility for: