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Washington Employment Background Check Laws

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Employers that are either located in Washington or hiring Washington residents must abide by the Federal FCRA, and they should consider the following state laws. For more information on Washington state laws, please visit the state legislature.

Background check Laws in WA:

RCW 19.182.040 – Consumer report – Prohibited information – Exceptions

Except as authorized under subsection (2) of this section, no consumer reporting agency may make a consumer report containing any of the following items of information: (e) Records of arrest, indictment, or conviction of crime that, from date of disposition, release, or parole, antedate the report by more than seven years. (2) Subsection (1)(a) through (e) and (g) of this section is not applicable in the case of a consumer report to be used in connection with: (a) A credit transaction involving, or that may reasonably be expected to involve, a principal amount of fifty thousand dollars or more; (b) The underwriting of life insurance involving, or that may reasonably be expected to involve, a face amount of fifty thousand dollars or more; or (c) The employment of an individual at an annual salary that equals, or that may reasonably be expected to equal, twenty thousand dollars or more.

RCW 19.182.020 Consumer Reports - Furnishing - Procuring

  (c) a person may not procure a consumer report for employment purposes where any information contained in the report bears on the consumer's creditworthiness, credit standing, or credit capacity, unless the information is either:

     (i) Substantially job related and the employer's reasons for the use of such information are disclosed to the consumer in writing; or

     (ii) Required by law

In other words:

Consumer reporting agencies cannot report on criminal information that is older than 7 years, unless the consumer report is used in connection with: (1) a credit transaction that involves or is expected to involve $50,000 or more; or (2) a life insurance policy of $50,000 or more; or (3) the employment of an applicant whose annual salary will equal or is expected to equal $20,000 or more.

In other words:

An employ cannot obtain a credit report for employment purposes unless the employer is required by law to obtain the credit information; or the credit information is substantially related to the job and the reason for obtaining the credit information is disclosed in writing to the applicant or employee.



 How to Dispute Your Records: 

Criminal Records:

If you find that your criminal records are incorrect or incomplete and you would like to take action, you should contact the specific jurisdiction in which the records were originally filed.

Feel free to take a look at some of these resources for more information:
Obtaining Public Records
Request for Deletion of Records

Civil Records:

All of the following are included in civil records: judgments, liens, evictions, family and small claims cases. If you would like to dispute a record, contact the court in which the record was filed.

List of all courts and their contact information

Contact State Law Officials

Washington State Patrol
PO Box 42600
Olympia WA 98504
Phone: (360) 596-4000

Washington State Attorney General
1125 Washington Street SE
PO BOX 40100
Olympia, WA 98504
Phone: (360) 753-6200
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Administrative Office of the Courts
1112 Quince St
Olympia, WA 98501
Phone: (360) 753-3365
Fax: (360) 956-5700

National Laws and Resources

In order to set a standard around hiring policies, the federal government has created the Fair Credit Reporting Act or FCRA to monitor and protect both employers and job seekers. With this law, individuals are protected from unfair workplace discrimination and data breaches of their private, sensitive information. Interested in learning more? Check out GoodHire’s 10-step process for legally obtaining background reports. Be sure to read the official FCRA full text or summary legal document for more details.

Find any court in the USA: Court Locator Tool http://www.uscourts.gov/court_locator/CourtLocatorSearch.aspx

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