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Washington, D.C. Background Check Laws

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Washington, D.C. Employment Screening laws

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

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

Employment Background Check Laws In Washington, D.C.:

Washington, D.C. Act 20-422: Fair Criminal Record Screening Amendment Act of 2014.

The full text of Washington, D.C. Act 20-422 can be found at http://lims.dccouncil.us/Download/30954/B20-0642-SignedAct.pdf

Ninja's summary

Employers are prohibited from performing a background screening unless a conditional offer of employment has been made. Inquiries into an applicant’s criminal history cannot be made at the initial stage of the employment application process. Additionally, an employer cannot require any person to pay for, and provide, their own criminal or arrest records.

Washington, D.C. Act 21-673: Fair Credit in Employment Amendment Act of 2016.

The full text of Washington, D.C. Act 21-673 can be found at http://lims.dccouncil.us/Download/33953/B21-0244-Amendment1.pdf

Ninja's summary

Employers are prohibited from obtaining a credit report on a potential candidate unless:

  • (1) Federal or State statute requires a credit check;
  • (2) The position is with a Police Department;
  • (3) The position is with the Office of the D.C. Chief Financial Officer;
  • (4) The position requires possession of a security clearance under D.C. law;
  • (5) Disclosures are required to the Board of Ethics and Accountability;
  • (6) The position is with a financial institutions.

Update: Feb 2018

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.

Disclaimer

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.

Washington, D.C. Act 20-422: Fair Criminal Record Screening Amendment Act of 2014.

Employers are prohibited from performing a background screening unless a conditional offer of employment has been made. Inquiries into an applicant’s criminal history cannot be made at the initial stage of the employment application process. Additionally, an employer cannot require any person to pay for, and provide, their own criminal or arrest records.


Update: Feb 2018

Disclaimer

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.

District of Columbia - Consumer Rights Notice

You have a right to dispute the completeness or accuracy of any information contained in any file on you maintained by a consumer credit service organization as allowed by applicable District or federal law and a right to file a dispute directly with the consumer credit reporting agency in accordance with the provisions of the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

If you wish to dispute the accuracy or completeness of any information provided by Info Cubic, you should contact Info Cubic at: 877-360-4636 or by mail at 9250 East Costilla Avenue, Suite 525 | Greenwood Village, CO.

District of Columbia Consumers Have the Right to Obtain a Security Freeze

District of Columbia law gives you the right to place a "security freeze" on your credit report. A security freeze restricts when a credit reporting agency may release information in your credit report without your express authorization or approval.

A security freeze is designed to help prevent credit, loans, and services from being approved in your name without your consent. To obtain a security freeze, you should contact each credit reporting agency. When you place a security freeze on your credit report, the credit reporting agency will send you a personal identification number or password to use if you later choose to lift the freeze from your credit report, or to authorize the release of your credit report to a specific party or parties, or for a specific period of time after the freeze is in place. To provide that authorization, you must contact the credit reporting agency and provide all of the following:

  • The unique personal identification number or password provided by the credit reporting agency.
  • Verification of your identity.
  • Information regarding who may receive the credit report or the period of time for which the report shall be made available.

Upon receiving your proper request to lift temporarily a freeze from your credit report, the credit reporting agency shall comply within 3 business days. Beginning September 1, 2008, the credit reporting agency is required to provide methods, including web-based and telephonic methods, for you to request that the freeze be temporarily lifted within 15 minutes.

A security freeze does not apply when you have an existing account relationship and a copy of your report is requested by your existing creditor or its agents or affiliates for certain types of account review, collection, fraud control or similar activities.

If you are actively seeking credit, the procedures involved in lifting a security freeze may slow your own applications for credit. You should plan ahead and consider lifting a freeze--either completely if you are shopping around, or for a specific creditor before actually applying for new credit. Beginning September 1, 2008, you will be able to have a credit reporting agency temporarily lift a freeze on your credit report within 15 minutes of your request.

You have a right to take legal action against someone who violates your rights under the credit reporting laws.

The action can be brought against a credit reporting agency or anyone who fraudulently caused the release of your credit information.

KEY COURT DECISIONS
Court Case Issue Outcome Employer Limitation/ Action

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