An investigative consumer report is a complete report on a person's background that shows his lifestyle, character, reputation and personal characteristics. The gathering of this information includes interviewing his friends, neighbors and colleagues. This report is used to make employment decisions during promotion, reassignment, hiring and retention.
A person is usually notified prior to an investigative consumer report. If an employer needs an investigative consumer report on a person, federal law requires the employer to get permission from the person first. If the job application is not successful, the employer must provide the applicant with a copy of the report.