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Wisconsin Background Check Laws

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Wisconsin Drug Screen Compliance

Wisconsin Employment Screening Laws

Employers that are either located in Wisconsin or hiring Wisconsin residents must abide by the Federal FCRA, and applicable Wisconsin 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 Wisconsin state laws. This page also contains steps an end-user must take to stay in compliance with Wisconsin 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 Wisconsin state laws, please consult your legal counsel.

Background Check Law Ban the Box Law Court Fee Court Cases Summary of Rights

Employment Background Check Laws In Wisconsin:

Ninja's summary

This state follows the regulations and standards for hiring policies as set forth by the Fair Credit Reporting Act. There are no additional state or local employment screening laws to consider. 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.

Update: Aug 2017

Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA):

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.

Wisconsin Ban the Box

Employers may not inquire into an applicant’s criminal history during the initial stage of the employment process. Questions regarding criminal history may not be on the employment application form. Inquiries into criminal history can only be made after the candidate has been certified for the position.

Update: Aug 2017


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.

County: Court Fee:
Adams $0.00
Ashland $0.00
Barron $0.00
Bayfield $0.00
Brown $0.00
Buffalo $0.00
Burnett $0.00
Calumet $0.00
Chippewa $0.00
Clark $0.00
Columbia $0.00
Crawford $0.00
Dane $0.00
Dodge $0.00
Door $0.00
Douglas $5.00
Dunn $5.00
Eau Claire $5.00
Florence $0.00
Fond Du Lac $0.00
Forest $0.00
Grant $0.00
Green $0.00
Green Lake $0.00
Iowa $0.00
Iron $0.00
Jackson $0.00
Jefferson $0.00
Juneau $0.00
Kenosha $5.00
Kewaunee $0.00
La Crosse $0.00
Lafayette $0.00
Langlade $0.00
Lincoln $0.00
Manitowoc $0.00
Marathon $0.00
Marinette $0.00
Marquette $0.00
Menominee $0.00
Milwaukee $0.00
Monroe $0.00
Oconto $5.00
Oneida $0.00
Outagamie $0.00
Ozaukee $0.00
Pepin $0.00
Pierce $0.00
Polk $0.00
Portage $0.00
Price $0.00
Racine $0.00
Richland $0.00
Rock $0.00
Rusk $0.00
Saint Croix $0.00
Sauk $0.00
Sawyer $0.00
Shawano $0.00
Sheboygan $5.00
Taylor $0.00
Trempealeau $0.00
Vernon $0.00
Vilas $0.00
Walworth $0.00
Washburn $0.00
Washington $0.00
Waukesha $0.00
Waupaca $0.00
Waushara $0.00
Winnebago $0.00
Wood $5.00

Wisconsin Consumers Have the Right to Obtain a Security Freeze

You have a right to include a "security freeze" with your credit report, which will prohibit a consumer reporting agency from releasing information in your credit report in connection with a credit transaction without your express authorization. A security freeze must be requested in writing by certified mail or by any other means provided by a consumer reporting agency. The security freeze is designed to prevent an extension of credit, such as a loan, 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 loan, credit, mortgage, or Internet credit card transaction, including an extension of credit at point of sale.

When you request a security freeze for your credit report, you will be provided a personal identification number or password to use if you choose to remove the security freeze from 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 and provide all of the following:

  1. The personal identification number or password.
  2. Proper identification to verify your identity.
  3. The period of time for which the report shall be made available.
  4. Payment of the appropriate fee.

A security freeze does not apply to a person or its affiliates, or collection agencies acting on behalf of a person, 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.

Unless you are a victim of identity theft with a police report to verify the crime, a consumer reporting agency has the right to charge you no more than $10 to include a security freeze with your credit report, no more than $10 to authorize release of a report that includes a security freeze, and no more than $10 to remove a security freeze from your credit report."

Court Case Issue Outcome Employer Limitation/ Action

Groshek v. Time Warner Cable Inc.

Plaintiff claims when applying for employment, he received a form that included a disclosure and authorization form informing him that a consumer report may be procured in making the employment decision; the form also contained other information, such as a liability release.

Dismissed. Plaintiff did not have standing because they did not suffer a concrete informational or privacy injury.

Employers must ensure that their disclosure form consists solely of the disclosure as required by the FCRA.

Verkuilen v. Business Info. Group, Inc

Plaintiff claims that Business Information Group did not follow reasonable procedures to ensure maximum possible accuracy of their reports. In 2011, plaintiff could not find employment. He then discovered inaccuracies in his report, and he disputed those inaccuracies, but he did not file his claim until 2014.

Dismissed. Court found in favor of Business Information Group. Plaintiff is time-barred because his claims occurred more than two years from filing date.

Employers must review the entire background screening report on an applicant before making a hiring decision, and must follow proper adverse action procedures if making a negative hiring decision. CRA’s must ensure they have strict procedures in place to ensure maximum possible accuracy.