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Questions and Answers
 
 

Credit Report Laws
Under the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (www.ftc.gov/os/statutes/fcra.htm), a "consumer reporting agency" that provides "consumer reports" (background checks) on applicants/employees ("consumers"). To comply with this act you must disclose to your applicant and employees in writing that a background check will be done and get their written authorization to do so, as well as acknowledge that you will not use the information in violation of any applicable equal employment opportunity law or regulation.

Q: Isn't it illegal to ask someone for their date of birth?
At: No. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) prohibits discrimination on the basis of age with respect to individuals who are at least forty (40) years of age. [29 USCS ��621 et seq]. However, there are legitimate circumstances in which a request for an applicant's date of birth is necessary. In particular, an applicant's date of birth is crucial during the employment screening process when requesting a criminal record search since most courts rely on the date of birth as a primary identifier. Therefore, without a date of birth it might be impossible to verify whether or not a particular criminal record belongs to that individual. As a result, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has indicated that a request for date of birth or age on an employment application "... is not, in itself, a violation of the Act." In a letter dated July 20, 1999, the EEOC suggested that an employer do the following to ensure compliance with the ADEA:

(i) Clearly identify the purpose for which date of birth information is to be used (in other words, for identification purposes only in the employment screening process).

(ii) Make known to the applicant that the purpose is not one proscribed by the ADEA (in other words, not to be used to discriminate based on age).

(iii) Use a separate or tear-off sheet to record the date of birth so that it can be removed before the ultimate employment decision-maker sees the application.

Q: A record was found but the person says it�s not their record or the record is incorrect.  Can you fix this?
A: No.  We have no control over the content of an official record.  We are a search company only.  The person in question must contact the appropriate authority such as FDLE or FDOC or Department of Motor Vehicles.  A lawyer may be needed.  We do not alter the information in any way when we report it and we cannot alter the data whether or not the data is correct. 

Q: What is the difference between FDOC and FDLE? 
A: The FDOC (Florida Department of Corrections) is a convictions database only, which includes �Adjudication Withheld�.  The FDLE (Florida Department of Law Enforcement) includes arrests and convictions.  Please refer to the DESCRIPTION OF OUR SERVICES section for a more detailed explanation or contact us.

Q: What is ADJUDICATION WITHHELD?
A:
The court has deferred ruling until all the conditions set by the court are fulfilled. This occurs most often when a defendant agrees to plead �No Contest� or �Nolo Contendere� The defendant can avoid incarceration and a criminal record by agreeing to take this plea. The defendant is allowed to say he/she was not convicted of a crime.  If the defendant fails to comply with the conditions set by the court, the �no contest� case will be  re-opened. 

Q: I have a request that needs urgent attention; can you speed up the process?
A: Yes.  In most cases we can.  You should indicate �Please Rush� on your request or call us.  Do not expect every request to get priority handling. Please use this special treatment judiciously and only when it is really urgent.  Employment verifications, education verifications, some SSN verifications and some non-Florida searches cannot be rushed.

Q:  A record was found, but was marked �NON-CONCLUSIVE CRIMINAL MATCH�.  What does this mean?
A:  We use a 3-point Identification system: Name, Date of Birth, and Social Security Number.  Non-conclusive means we did not have a 3-point match.  The name may have a different spelling.  The date of birth may be close but not exact. Or the SSN is missing either from the request or the record.  If the record contains a physical description such as eye color, height, and race or last known address, you may be able to determine if the record belongs to your subject.  You may have to ask the subject �is this your record�? 

Q: Why can I only choose from 8 states in the Non-Florida Workers' Comp History?
A: Due to privacy issues raised on a national basis, each state determines what information is to be released and whether it will be released.

Q: Why does the driving record information seem to differ from state to state?
A: Due to privacy issues raised on a national basis, each state determines what information is to be released.

Q: Why is there so little information on the Florida Workers' Compensation claims?
A: Due to privacy issues, the Florida Department of Workers' Compensation has deleted the name, social security number and monetary results from the printed reports.

Q: What is the difference between a sexual offender and a sexual predator in Florida?
A: Sexual predators and offenders are in violation of similar offenses, but there are several key differences between them. "Sexual predator" applies to anyone convicted of a sexual offense committed from October 1, 1993 forward. "Sexual offender" applies to anyone who has committed a sexual offense on any date and is being released on or after October 1, 1997 from the sanctions imposed on them for their crime. A sanction could be anything from a fine or probation to parole or community control.

Q: The individual on whom I did the search swears the record found is not his/hers. What do I do?
A: We have no control over the content of an official record. We provide the content of that record. If it's a criminal record in question, have the individual contact the appropriate authority in question -- FDLE, FDOC, Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, Florida Department of Workers' Compensation, Social Security Administration, Department of Homeland Security, etc. -- to get instructions on how to clear up or correct any mistakes or misinformation. For a criminal record, we use a 3-point identification system: name, date of birth, and social security number. If there is not a three-point match, you might have to compare other information. For instance, if the record contains an individual's eye color, height, weight, race, last known address. Nevertheless, under no circumstances is Federal Background Services Inc responsible for any errors or omissions in the information provided of an official record or for any consequential damages arising out of your use, or misuse, of this information.

Q: Can I assume that any information found on an official record is 100% accurate?
A: No and we have no control over the content of an official record. We provide the content of that record. If it's a criminal record in question, have the individual provide a fingerprint check (he/she can get a fingerprint card from the local police department or sheriff's office) so that you can compare those results with that of the criminal report. Or have the individual contact the appropriate authority in question -- FDLE, FDOC, Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, Florida Department of Workers' Compensation, Social Security Administration, Department of Homeland Security, etc. -- to get instructions on how to clear up or correct any mistakes or misinformation. A lawyer might be needed. We do not and cannot alter information in any way when we report it to you. For a criminal record, we use a 3-point identification system: name, date of birth, and social security number. If there is not a three-point match, you might have to compare other information. For instance, if the record contains an individual's eye color, height, weight, race, last known address, use this information to further confirm or discount a record. In some cases, the name might be spelled slightly different or the date of birth might be close but not exact. Or the SSN might be missing altogether from the record. Nevertheless, under no circumstances is Federal Background Services Inc responsible for any errors or omissions in the information provided of an official record or for any consequential damages arising out of your use, or misuse, of this information.

Q: How will I be billed?
A: Invoices are faxed at the end of each month. Payment is expected by the fifteenth of the month.

If you have any other questions, please contact us at 561-969-9966.