Quick Guide: Ordering Pre-Adverse & Adverse Action Notices

Under the FCRA, an employer must give applicants for employment or employees an opportunity to dispute information provided in a consumer report if the employer intends to take an adverse action against the applicant or employee based upon the report, in whole or in party. If you are considering taking such an adverse action against applicants or employees, you will need to notify them that, due to items in their report, your company is considering not hiring them, not promoting them, terminating their employment or otherwise taking an adverse action against them.  ESS provides Pre-Adverse and Adverse Action letters free of charge through the online ordering system. The letter may be mailed or personally given to the applicant. You will also include a copy of the applicant’s background report with this letter.

The FCRA states that a reasonable amount of time be given to the applicant or employee to respond to the Pre-Adverse Action letter. The ESS letter states 5 business days.

You can order these pre-filled letters through the online system.  Ordering the letters online is free for you!

Locate the applicant in the system. Click on the applicant’s name.

Click the View Report Options link, then “Order More.”

You are now on the ordering screen; however, the applicant’s information is populated into the Profile Screen. Make sure the applicant’s address is listed. If not, you will need to enter that address into the applicant’s profile.

In the section titled Criteria: Select Searches, you will choose “Order Individual Searches” in the drop-down menu. This will pull up a list of all a la carte add-on options. Choose “Submit.”

Choose the Pre-Adverse Letter option. The search icon will turn green. Click the green Order button at the top of your screen.

The Pre-Adverse letter has now been added as a search to the report. You can now print the report with the pre-adverse letter and send to the applicant. Be sure to send them both the letter and the full report. DO NOT SEND THE ADVERSE ACTION LETTER AT THIS TIME.

Once a pre-adverse action notification has been delivered to the applicant with a copy of their report, they have the opportunity to dispute the information. The applicant may call ESS to discuss the contents of the report and the nature of their dispute. ESS will not automatically remove items from a report. If a dispute is initiated, ESS will contact you to let you know a dispute has been opened. In this case, the adverse action notification should NOT be sent until the dispute is closed.

If no contact has been made from the applicant to ESS within the reasonable amount of time, the adverse action notification can be sent. You will follow the same steps listed for the pre-adverse action letter.

This is an example of the Pre-Adverse letter. Notice the applicant’s name and your company’s name is pre-filled.

This is an example of the Adverse Letter.

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