Can I Be Sued For Doing My Own Pet Sitting Background Checks On Staff?

Can I Be Sued For Doing My Own Pet Sitting Background Checks On Staff?

From time to time this question seems to come up in my coaching groups. I wanted to go straight to the experts mouth to get the hard facts and here is what I found out.

I contacted Jason, at ACUTRAQ Background Screening. He and his company has been a fabulous supporter of pet sitters and will even offer to waive the set up fee for his services with the mention of this blog. Here is my question: 


Can You Explain To Me Why It Is So Important To Have a Professional Company Do Pet Sitting Background Checks? Why Must I Have Applicants Sign A 3 Page Waiver?


Hi Bella, background check

Sure can, that is a great question.

How to conduct pet sitting background checks for employment purposes can be the most important decision a business owner will make. When it comes to trusting others with your livelihood and the business you have built, the most important decision you will make is in fact the people you hire.

You can only do so much as a business owner. As you grow the team you put in place will be the determining factor to your success. With all of that said the very first place to start once you have offered the position, is a background check. Before conducting the pet sitting background checks you must have signed consent from the applicant that states they understand a background check is required for this position. This is FCRA federal law and if not administered, can be enforced by the EEOC (equal employment opportunity commission), FTC (federal trade commission), CFPB (consumer financial protection bureau),  and PRIVATE LAWYERS.

The FCRA (fair credit reporting act) governs more than just credit guidelines. It lays out the guidelines for how background checks are to be conducted when used for employment and other types of screening. These guidelines are the guidelines agencies above are enforcing and catching employers in violation of. Is the statement regarding the authorization and disclosure procedures that are to be adhered to:

“Provide a clear and conspicuous disclosure in writing to the applicant in a document that consists solely of the disclosure, stating that a consumer report may be obtained for employment purposes. This Disclosure must be in a separate document and cannot contain any additional information except for the consumer’s authorization.”

I also attached a copy of the FCRA. [See below] Many people ask, with all these guidelines how can I know who to use when conducting a background check. Only companies that go by the FCRA guidelines truly care about their clients. This means from the disclosure to the information reported back to the employer. The internet has opened up so many avenues that it can be hard to understand what is legal to do and what is not. You can be assured that when it comes to employment screening, many people have lost negligent hiring lawsuits because they thought a quick, $2 internet criminal search was compliant for employment screening. Those online sources are inaccurate and get people sued on a daily basis.

When placing your trust in a background screening company, you want to make sure they are reputable and stand behind their information. The guidelines placed in the FCRA are there to protect to the employers and applicants. When conducted properly companies can reduce liabilities and negligent hiring lawsuits regarding the application and background screening process.


Let me know if you any other questions, the FCRA has so many guidelines it can get confusing. Have a Great Day!!


Thank You,

Jason Waggoner
ACUTRAQ Background Screening
P: 281-727-0019
F: 479-439-9156
Vice President – Sales & Marketing
3503 Cedar Knolls Ste. A4 –
Houston, Tx


Jason is really the expert:

I just love how straight forward and easy to understand Jason was with his reply. Basically, there are a few agencies that govern how background checks must be conducted. There is also ways that the company can be liable if the proper paperwork isn’t filled out. Anything that can protect my business liability sounds great to me. Heck, I wouldn’t even really know what to look for if I pulled a background check online. How many counties should I check? How many names? How far back? If something comes back… what does it mean? It is like being given a map and not knowing how to read it. Jason and his team spend all day learning how to read and interpret these “maps”  For something that could be so important, I would leave it up to the professionals! Don’t be bashful. Give him a call! Lots of pet sitters already use him.

(I do not get anything for this endorsement)


FCRA attachment download Jason mentioned above.



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