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Employers that are either located in Arkansas or hiring Arkansas residents must abide by the Federal FCRA, and applicable Arkansas state employment laws.
This page was created to provide a simple explanation of what an end-user of a background screening report (also known as consumer report) can use in order to be in compliance with Arkansas state laws. This page also contains steps an end-user must take to stay in compliance with Arkansas state laws.
Please keep in mind that the EEOC must always be taken into consideration when a hiring decision is to be made. The EEOC has provided guidance on how employers can use criminal records during the hiring process. This regulation was issued on April 25, 2012. The EEOC requires employers to individually review each applicant or employee that may be disqualified due to a criminal record. This also follows the regulations set forth by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Additionally, the EEOC wants to undertake an adverse action process similar to that of the FCRA. They want to add a pre-adverse action process of their own. Although employers already have an adverse action process that is specific to information contained in consumer reports, the EEOC's adverse action process may be different.
The information that is provided on this page does not discuss requirements under the EEOC nor does it explain how to use criminal records that fall under the regulation of the EEOC. It is suggested that compliance with the EEOC be discussed with legal counsel.
For more detailed information on Arkansas state laws, please consult your legal counsel.
Info Cubic Ninja's summary
While employers are not prohibited from viewing information about a current or prospective employee that is publicly available on the internet, they may not require, request, suggest or cause a current or prospective employee to provide a username and/or password to any social media account, or require them to add any other employee, supervisor, etc. as a social media contact.
(1) An employer shall not require, request, suggest, or cause a current or prospective employee to:
(A) Disclose his or her username and password to the current or prospective employee’s social media account; or
(B) Change the privacy settings associated with his or her social media account.
(2) An employer shall not require a current or prospective employee to add another employee, supervisor, or administrator to the list or contacts associated with his or her social media account.
(3) If an employer inadvertently receives an employee’s username, password, or other login information to the employee’s social media account through the use of an electronic device provided to the employee by the employer or a program that monitors an employer’s network, the employer is not liable for having the information but may not use the information to gain access to an employee’s social media account.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is a set of federal guidelines that helps regulate hiring practices. The FCRA was created to ensure privacy, accuracy, and fairness of consumer information. The FCRA accomplishes this by having a set standard for collecting, disseminating, and using consumer information.
Employers obtaining consumer reports for background screening purposes must follow specific procedures. For example, employers must disclose to the candidate what the background screening is, what information it includes, and how they intend to use it. They must obtain the written consent of the candidate before obtaining a background screening. They may not misuse the information contained in the background screening. There are also strict procedures an employer must follow should they decide not to hire a potential candidate based on the information in the background screening.
The purpose of the FCRA is to help protect employers, employees, and potential job candidates.
This material is time sensitive. Contact us for updates. This information is subject to frequent change through legislative and court action.
All materials in this page and accompanying information are for general educational purposes and not intended to provide legal, scientific or medical advice. Consult with an appropriate professional to address specific issues.
No additional “Ban the Box” state or local laws applicable to Private Employers to consider. Additional laws for State/Public Employers may apply. Please keep in mind that laws are always changing, and we recommend that you seek legal counsel for the most up-to-date legal information.
You have the right to place a "security freeze" on your credit report, which will prohibit a consumer reporting agency from releasing information in your credit report without your express authorization. The security freeze is designed to prevent credit, loans, and services from being approved in your name without your consent. However, you should be aware that using a security freeze to take control over who gets access to the personal and financial information in your credit report may delay, interfere with, or prohibit the timely approval of any subsequent request or application you make regarding a new loan, credit, mortgage, government services or payments, rental housing, employment, investment, license, cellular phone, utilities, digital signature, Internet credit card transaction, or other services, including an extension of credit at point of sale.
When you place a security freeze on your credit report, you will be provided a personal identification number or
password to use if you choose to remove the security freeze on your credit report or authorize the release of your
credit report for a period of time after the security freeze is in place. To provide that authorization you must
contact the consumer reporting agency by one (1) of the methods that it requires and provide all of the following:
A consumer reporting agency must authorize the release of your credit report for a period of time within fifteen (15) minutes or as soon as practical if good cause exists for the delay, and must remove a security freeze no later than three (3) business days after receiving all of the above items by any method that the consumer reporting agency allows.
A security freeze does not apply to a person or an entity, or its affiliates, or collection agencies acting on behalf of the person or entity with which you have an existing account that requests information in your credit report for the purposes of reviewing or collecting the account. Reviewing the account includes activities related to account maintenance, monitoring, credit line increases, and account upgrades and enhancements.
You have a right to bring a civil action against anyone, including a consumer reporting agency that willfully or negligently fails to comply with any requirement of the Arkansas Consumer Report Security Freeze Act.
A consumer reporting agency has the right to charge you up to five dollars ($5.00) to place a security freeze on your credit report, to temporarily lift a security freeze on your credit report, or to remove a security freeze from your credit report. However, you shall not be charged any fee if you are at least sixty-five (65) years of age or if you are a victim of identity theft and have submitted, in conjunction with the security freeze request, a copy of a valid investigative report or incident report or complaint with a law enforcement agency alleging the unlawful use of your identifying information by another person.
AR Code § 4-112-111
Bakker v. McKinnon (1998)
Under what circumstances may a consumer report be obtained? Consumer reports may only be obtained for “legitimate business purposes” as described in section 1681(b)(3) of the FCRA. These purposes include credit transactions, employment purposes, insurance, government licenses, or other legitimate business needs.
The Court found in favor of Bakker. McKinnon was procuring credit reports on Bakker and Bakker’s family to ensure that they were not judgment proof and that they were not transferring assets to other family members. The Court held that this was not a “legitimate business purpose” and found in favor of Bakker. McKinnon’s conduct was a blatant attempt to extract a settlement from Bakker.
Employers must ensure that they are requesting and obtaining a consumer report for legitimate business needs. Consumer reports may only be obtained for “legitimate business purposes” as described in section 1681(b)(3) of the FCRA. These purposes include credit transactions, employment purposes, insurance, government licenses, or other legitimate business needs.