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What to do if You Have Background Check Errors

On Behalf of | Jan 7, 2022 | Consumer Protection

Most employers today require prospective employees to pass a background check before getting the job.  It can be quite embarrassing when the employer advises you that you failed the background check, even though you know you have a clear record.  You also may be  lost as to what to do next to clear your name and get your job back.  Clearing your background check can be quite easy.

You are entitled to see the report

According to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, if an employer intends to use a background report to deny employment, the employer must provide a copy of that report to the consumer.  They don’t actually have to give the entire report.  Just the portion that has the item or items that concerned the employer.  However, there should be no confusion as to precisely what information caused the employer to deny the job.  Also, in giving you the report the employer notifies you of the name of the background reporting company it used.

Contact the Reporting Company Immediately

Even though we are not dealing with credit reports here, the Fair Credit Reporting Act applies.  That means that the reporting agency has a duty to investigate any disputes and respond within 30 days.  Thus, you should dispute the information directly to that background reporting agency immediately.

              Do it over the phone if…

If the information on the report is not yours at all, that is, they have you confused with a completely different person, call them.  It is a far quicker and easier way to kick off the dispute, and you can simply compare your personal identifying information with them over the phone.   In our experience, most of these errors are promptly resolved.

               Do it in writing if…

If the information on the report is outdated or incorrect then your dispute should be in writing.  These are usually expunged or sealed records, or charges that were reduced to a lesser charge but being reported as the original charge.  If this is the case, then it is best to send in a dispute.  When mailing in a dispute, you must be sure to include the documented proof of your claim.  Enclose the expunging or sealing order.

You are entitled to your lost wages

If a report is prepared about you with false information and this actually delays your start date, you are entitled to recover your losses.  The Fair Credit Reporting Act provides for the recover of all damages and attorney fees.  If you are losing employment because of a false background report, contact SmithMarco, P.C. for a free case review.