The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Tennessee County Municipal Advisory Service

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Social Media: Fair Credit Reporting Act

Reference Number: MTAS-1610
Tennessee Code Annotated
Reviewed Date: August 10, 2017
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An applicant may have legal causes of action if he or she has been turned down for a job as a result of online information. Pursuant to certain provisions of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (hereinafter "FCRA"), an invasion of privacy lawsuit could be established and some experts suggest social networking sites themselves may be vulnerable to lawsuits under the FCRA. Some states have legislation that prohibits employers from performing credit checks as a part of the employment process. Employers should provide a written notice that explains your city may obtain a consumer report for employment purposes. Employers are also required by the FCRA to obtain the applicant’s signature before performing a background check and releasing the information. If an adverse employment decision is made based on information discovered through a background check, the applicant should be notified as described in FCRA regulations.