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Home > Background Screening > Resources > Employment Screening Industry Terminology

Standard Background Screening Terminology

We have comprised a list of commonly used terms and definitions that may appear on any consumer report that we prepare for you.  Most of the definitions have been verified through standard dictionaries and authoritative reference books, and we recommend that you always consider the context in which the word is used.  This glossary should not be considered to be all-inclusive nor is it intended to constitute legal advice. It is especially important to consult legal counsel when making employment decisions.  EBI also provides many of the standard industry terms and definitions for the drug testing and occupational healthcare industries. 

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) Terminology and Definitions

 

603

Any individual, partnership, corporation, trust, estate, cooperative, association, government or governmental subdivision or agency, or other entity.

603

An individual.

603

Any written, oral, or other communication of any information by a consumer reporting agency bearing on a consumer's credit worthiness, credit standing, credit capacity, character, general reputation, personal characteristics, or mode of living which is used or expected to be used or collected in whole or in part for the purpose of serving as a factor in establishing the consumer's eligibility for
(A) credit or insurance to be used primarily for personal, family, or household purposes;
(B) employment purposes; or
(C) any other purpose authorized under section 604 [§ 1681b].
(2) Exclusions.  Except as provided in paragraph (3), the term "consumer report" does not include
(A) subject to section 624, any
(i) report containing information solely as to transactions or experiences between the consumer and the person making the report;
(ii) communication of that information among persons related by common ownership or affiliated by corporate control; or
(iii) communication of other information among persons related by common ownership or affiliated by corporate control, if it is clearly
and conspicuously disclosed to the consumer that the information may be communicated among such persons and the consumer is given the
opportunity, before the time that the information is initially communicated, to direct that such information not be communicated among such persons;
(B) any authorization or approval of a specific extension of credit directly or indirectly by the issuer of a credit card or similar device;
(C) any report in which a person who has been requested by a third party to make a specific extension of credit directly or indirectly to a consumer
conveys his or her decision with respect to such request, if the third party advises the consumer of the name and address of the person to whom the request was made, and such person makes the disclosures to the consumer required under section 615 [§ 1681m]; or
(D) a communication described in subsection (o) or (x).

603

A consumer report or portion thereof in which information on a consumer's character, general reputation, personal characteristics, or mode of living is obtained through personal interviews with neighbors, friends, or associates of the consumer reported on or with others with whom he is acquainted or who may have knowledge concerning any such items of information.  However, such information shall not include specific factual information on a consumer's credit record obtained directly from a creditor of the consumer or from a consumer reporting agency when such information was obtained directly from a creditor of the consumer or from the consumer.

603

Any person which, for monetary fees, dues, or on a cooperative nonprofit basis, regularly engages in whole or in part in the practice of assembling or evaluating consumer credit information or other information on consumers for the purpose of furnishing consumer reports to third parties, and which uses any means or facility of interstate commerce for the purpose of preparing or furnishing consumer reports.

603

When used in connection with information on any consumer, means all of the information on that consumer recorded and retained by a consumer reporting agency regardless of how the information is stored.

603

When used in connection with a consumer report means a report used for the purpose of evaluating a consumer for employment,
promotion, reassignment or retention as an employee.

603

“Medical information” --
(1) means information or data, whether oral or recorded, in any form or medium, created by or derived from a health care provider or the consumer, that relates to--
(A) the past, present, or future physical, mental, or behavioral health or condition of an individual;
(B) the provision of health care to an individual; or
(C) the payment for the provision of health care to an individual.
(2) does not include the age or gender of a consumer, demographic information about the consumer, including a consumer's residence address or e-mail address, or any other information about a consumer that does not relate to the physical, mental, or behavioral health or condition of a consumer, including the existence or value of any insurance policy.

603

Has the meaning given to such term in section 666(e) of title 42 [Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C.  § 666(e)].

603

A State or local agency which administers a State or local program for establishing and enforcing child support obligations.

603

“Adverse Action”
(A) has the same meaning as in section 701(d)(6) of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act; and
(B) means
(i) a denial or cancellation of, an increase in any charge for, or a reduction or other adverse or unfavorable change in the terms of coverage or amount of, any insurance, existing or applied for, in connection with the underwriting of insurance;
(ii) a denial of employment or any other decision for employment purposes that adversely affects any current or prospective employee;
(iii) a denial or cancellation of, an increase in any charge for, or any other adverse or unfavorable change in the terms of, any license or benefit described in section 604(a)(3)(D) [§ 1681b]; and
(iv) an action taken or determination that is
(I) made in connection with an application that was made by, or a transaction that was initiated by, any consumer, or in connection with a review of an account under section 604(a)(3)(F)(ii)[§ 1681b]; and
(II) adverse to the interests of the consumer.
(2) Applicable findings, decisions, commentary, and orders.  For purposes of any determination of whether an action is an adverse action under paragraph (1)(A), all appropriate final findings, decisions, commentary, and orders issued under section 701(d)(6) of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System or any court shall apply.

603

Any offer of credit or insurance to a consumer that will be honored if the consumer is determined, based on information in a consumer report on the consumer, to meet the specific criteria used to select the consumer for the offer, except that the offer may be further conditioned on one or more of the following:
(1) The consumer being determined, based on information in the consumer's application for the credit or insurance, to meet specific criteria bearing on credit worthiness or insurability, as applicable, that are established
(A) before selection of the consumer for the offer; and
(B) for the purpose of determining whether to extend credit or insurance pursuant to the offer.
(2) Verification
(A) that the consumer continues to meet the specific criteria used to select the consumer for the offer, by using information in a consumer report on the consumer, information in the consumer's application for the credit or insurance, or other information bearing on the credit worthiness or insurability of the consumer; or
(B) of the information in the consumer's application for the credit or insurance, to determine that the consumer meets the specific criteria bearing on credit worthiness or insurability.
(3) The consumer furnishing any collateral that is a requirement for the extension of the credit or insurance that was
(A) established before selection of the consumer for the offer of credit or insurance; and
(B) disclosed to the consumer in the offer of credit or insurance.

603

“Credit or insurance transaction that is not initiated by the consumer” does not include the use of a consumer report by a person with which the consumer has an account or insurance policy, for purposes of
(1) reviewing the account or insurance policy; or
(2) collecting the account.

603

“State” means any State, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia, and any territory or possession of the United States.

603

A consumer reporting agency that regularly engages in the practice of assembling or evaluating, and maintaining, for the purpose
of furnishing consumer reports to third parties bearing on a consumer's credit worthiness, credit standing, or credit capacity, each of the following regarding consumers residing nationwide:
(1) Public record information.
(2) Credit account information from persons who furnish that information regularly and in the ordinary course of business.

603

A consumer in military service who--
(A) is on active duty (as defined in section 101(d)(1) of title 10, United States Code) or is a reservist performing duty under a call or order to active duty under a provision of law referred to in section 101(a)(13) of title 10, United States Code; and
(B) is assigned to service away from the usual duty station of the consumer.

603

A statement in the file of a consumer that--
(A) notifies all prospective users of a consumer report relating to the consumer that the consumer may be a victim of fraud, including identity theft, or is an active duty military consumer, as applicable; and
(B) is presented in a manner that facilitates a clear and conspicuous view of the statement described in subparagraph (A) by any person requesting such consumer report.

603

A fraud committed using the identifying information of another person, subject to such further definition as the Commission may prescribe, by regulation.

603

“Identity theft report” has the meaning given that term by rule of the Commission, and means, at a minimum, a report--
(A) that alleges an identity theft;
(B) that is a copy of an official, valid report filed by a consumer with an appropriate Federal, State, or local law enforcement agency, including the
United States Postal Inspection Service, or such other government agency deemed appropriate by the Commission; and
(C) the filing of which subjects the person filing the report to criminal penalties relating to the filing of false information if, in fact, the information in the report is false.

603

“new credit plan” means a new account under an open end credit plan
(as defined in section 103(i) of the Truth in Lending Act) or a new credit
transaction not under an open end credit plan.

603

“Card issuer” means--
(A) a credit card issuer, in the case of a credit card; and
(B) a debit card issuer, in the case of a debit card.

603

“Credit card” has the same meaning as in section 103 of the Truth in
Lending Act.

603

Any card issued by a financial institution to a consumer for use in initiating an electronic fund transfer from the account of the consumer at such financial institution, for the purpose of transferring money between accounts or obtaining money, property, labor, or services.

603

“Account” and “Electronic fund transfer” have the same meanings as in section 903 of the Electronic Fund Transfer Act.

603

“credit” and “creditor” have the same meanings as in section 702 of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act.

603

“Federal banking agency” has the same meaning as in section 3 of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act.

603

“Financial institution” means a State or National bank, a State or Federal savings and loan association, a mutual savings bank, a State or Federal credit union, or any other person that, directly or indirectly, holds a transaction account (as defined in section 19(b) of the Federal Reserve Act) belonging to a consumer.

603

A consumer reporting agency that--
(1) assembles and merges information contained in the database of another consumer reporting agency or multiple consumer reporting agencies concerning any consumer for purposes of furnishing such information to any third party, to the extent of such activities; and
(2) does not maintain a database of the assembled or merged information from which new consumer reports are produced.

603

“Commission” means the Federal Trade Commission.

603

A consumer reporting agency that compiles and maintains files on consumers on a nationwide basis relating to--
(1) medical records or payments;
(2) residential or tenant history;
(3) check writing history;
(4) employment history; or
(5) insurance claims.

603

Includes any self-regulatory organization (as defined in section 3(a)(26) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934), any entity established under title I of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, any board of trade designated by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and any futures association registered with such Commission.

604

Information that is protected from unauthorized disclosure under Executive Order No.  12958 or successor orders.

604

Any official inquiry by an agency or department of the United States Government to determine the eligibility of a consumer to receive access or continued access to classified information or to determine whether classified information has been lost or compromised.


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