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Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Tex.) Nov. 16 introduced legislation that would amend the Fair Credit Reporting Act to exempt third-party reports prepared during sexual harassment investigations from the act’s definition of a “consumer report.”

If passed, the legislation (H.R. 3408) would end months of confusion over how to square Title VII’s mandate to conduct prompt and thorough investigations with the cumbersome consent, notice, disclosure, and other provisions of the FCRA. Those provisions were first applied to an outsourced sexual harassment investigation in an April opinion letter issued by the Federal Trade Commission (Vail, 4/5/99; 1 ELW 20, 9/16/99), setting off a wave of controversy in the employment law community.

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