For employment-purpose reports, the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and its state law counterparts are the laws that most often deal with when determining whether certain information is or isn’t reportable. However, federal laws prohibiting workplace discrimination can also limit what information can be included in these reports. This issue can arise when civil lawsuits are located in which a search subject has sued a former employer.
Although there are several types of federal laws dealing with workplace discrimination, taken together, these laws make it illegal to discriminate against someone (applicant or employee) because of that person’s race, color, religion, sex (including gender identity, sexual orientation, and pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information. It is also illegal to retaliate against a person because they complained about discrimination, filed a charge of discrimination, or participated in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit.
Providing any such information to a prospective employer in a background screening report could be a violation of anti-discrimination laws which are typically enforced by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).