What is the FREE Act and how would it impact background checks?
As a result of the 2017 Equifax credit breach, Senator Elizabeth Warren introduced a credit report bill called the FREE Act that would give consumers the ability to freeze their credit for free. Employed largely as a security measure, this freeze would restrict access to credit reports, including for use in background checks. Under the FREE Act, consumers are not liable for any charges that might at one time have been incurred for choosing to freeze their credit reports, and they have the ability to freeze their credit for any length of time they choose. Mistakes on credit reports are difficult to get corrected, and this sort of history can thus be discriminatory.
If passed, the FREE Act could limit the information companies are able to obtain during the course of a background investigation. In the future, it might even become illegal to use this sort of information completely in making hiring decisions.