HireRight Background Check

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19 Apr, 2024
Daniel Cohen
5 min
A woman is evaluating employees

When Errors in a HireRight Employment Background Check Report Tank Your Job Prospects, You Need Our Help!

Were you fired or not hired due to inaccurate, misleading, or false information in a HireRight background check report? If your job application was denied and you suffered financial, emotional, or reputational harm because of HireRight's careless errors and unjust mistakes, learn how this happens, how to fix it, and how a lawyer can help you recover!

Many job applicants these days are routinely subject to background checks as part of the hiring process, and some are even subject to ongoing monitoring after being hired. Though “big brother-esque,” this new era of intensive applicant and employee data mining is in high demand and likely here to stay.

So, whether you found your way here after Googling, “HireRight cost me a job,” learning that you have to pass a HireRight background check to secure a job, found out you were fired due to errors in a HireRight background check report, or you’re just curious about the contemporary hiring climate, it’s worth learning about why and how companies like HireRight operate and how their errors can impact your life.

I’ll explain what HireRight does, how employers use its services, how things can go wrong, what your rights are under the law, how to correct errors, and when to look to a consumer protection lawyer for help. At Consumer Attorneys, our lawyers have a combined seventy-five years of experience helping consumers recover from devastating data errors.

About HireRight Company

HireRight is one of many companies offering employment-related consumer data research and reporting. It is a global entity that services over 200 countries throughout North America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, and India.

Working with employers, HireRight customizes pre-employment background checks, verifications, and screenings of several types to help employers evaluate and monitor candidates and employees from application through advanced tenure.

What is HireRight Under the Law?

Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), which is a vital piece of the legislative landscape established to protect consumers, companies like HireRight are called Consumer Reporting Agencies (CRAs). A HireRight background check report is essentially a specific compilation of consumer data that is purchased, reviewed, and reported using proprietary algorithms.

The companies HireRight and other CRAs purchase data from are called data furnishers under the FCRA. These are the companies you have financial relationships with, such as credit card companies, banks and lenders, mortgage and auto financers, and service providers. Data furnishers sell your information to CRAs and other companies for use in marketing, financial, and reporting products, such as employment background check reports. CRAs also buy data from third-party vendors that scan and capture data from municipal records and other sources.

How Does HireRight Conduct Background Checks?

A HireRight background check begins with gathering basic personal identifying information from the candidate or employee (i.e., you). You will complete the initial input of information through an online platform that HireRight calls a screening invitation or background invitation form. You will also complete an online consent form.

After you’ve provided any requisite information and documentation, HireRight uses algorithms to run your data against all of the relevant data streams in their network to gather, review, sort, and process your data into a consumer report, aka an employee background check report.

How Long Does a Background Check from HireRight Take?

Since a HireRight background check is customizable, various factors can influence the time it takes to complete one, including location (outside the US takes considerably longer) and the categories and depth of information searched. HireRight states that a basic search typically takes two to four days. So, waiting one business week before worrying about your HireRight background check status is reasonable.

Other factors can slow HireRight background check times, generally. These include candidates with a very common name or other superficially similar characteristics that might result in a larger return of data to sort. In general, try to be patient. Any minor delays are not necessarily an indication that you failed the HireRight background check.

What Information Does HireRight Provide in Their Background Checks?

Since HireRight background checks are customizable, not every report will contain the same information. However, among the categories available for selection are criminal history, credit and financial profile, identity verification, employment and education verification, social media profiles, civil records, driving records, and drug and other health screenings.

HireRight Criminal Background Check

Even within this particular subset of data, the HireRight criminal background check is customizable, and the nature of the information included depends on selections made by the prospective employer. In addition, HireRight offers criminal data products for employers who engage in ongoing employee monitoring. Typically, the latter products involve alerts triggered when a person’s identifying credentials are entered into the criminal system through an arrest.

Among the categories of information that can be included in a HireRight criminal background check are global, federal, state, and county searches for felony, misdemeanor, watchlist, and sex offender offenses.

The HireRight criminal background check time is the same as the general background check time, which is generally two to four days but may take longer depending on a number of factors. For instance, the categories of information selected for a particular criminal background check, the commonality of a candidate’s name or other searchable criteria, the nature and extent of a candidate’s criminal history, the number of places that a candidate has lived, and other factors, may all require more time.

HireRight Background Check for Employment

While all of the categories of information identified above can be included in a HireRight employment background check, there are also a few categories that are specifically targeted at building out a comprehensive candidate profile.

For instance, HireRight offers verification services regarding not only a candidate’s employment and education history but also any other professional qualifications identified through the application process.

What are Your Rights When it Comes to Background Check?

Because HireRight is a CRA under the FCRA (see above for more detail), you have a fairly extensive grant of rights regarding how your data is handled throughout the background check experience. In addition, the gathering and reporting of consumer data is also frequently regulated under state law that sets forth comparable or complementary legislation.

For a comprehensive understanding of your rights under the federal and state laws relevant to where you live, it is worth working with a consumer protection attorney like those on our team at Consumer Attorneys. However, for now, it is good to at least understand the basics of the FCRA.

Your Rights Under the FCRA

  1. Consent. HireRight cannot run any kind of background screening on you without your express consent. So, you never have to fear that just by applying to a particular job, a background check will automatically be completed for you. If a HireRight (or any other) background check is used during the applicant screening process, you have the right to be informed and to authorize the search.
  2. Accuracy. You have the right to have only accurate information included in your report. While this seems obvious, research suggests that up to one-third of people discover errors in their consumer reports (credit reports, rental reports, employment reports, etc.), so these errors do happen. By codifying your right to accurate information, the FCRA carved out a legal standard that all CRAs are accountable to.
  3. Review. You have the right to review any consumer report run on you, including a HireRight background screening. If you cannot select to receive a copy as soon as it is complete, you are entitled by law to request a copy.
  4. Informed Rejection. If you are one of the consumers for whom your HireRight background check failed to secure the position in question, you have a right to know exactly which information in the report was relied on to deny you the job.
  5. Free Credit Review. Once per year, you have the right to review your credit report from each of the three credit bureaus without any out-of-pocket cost. If you contest the data in your HireRight failed background check, we recommend requesting and reviewing all three credit reports to help determine the extent of the errors.

    There are three ways to request a copy: online at annualcreditreport.com, by phone at 877-322-8228, or by mailing a request form, which can be printed at annualcreditreport.com. Online requests should only be made through the above government-verified site.

  6. Dispute. You have a right to dispute any information in your HireRight background check report. In fact, even if you do get the job and nothing in your background check report harms your employment prospects, if you discover inaccurate, misleading, or false information in your report, you always have the right to dispute it and seek an error correction.

    HireRight is obligated to provide a dispute procedure and does so through its website. (See below for more details.)

  7. File a lawsuit. You have a right to file a lawsuit seeking error correction and compensation for any reporting mistakes that caused you harm. This includes financial, emotional, reputational, or other harm that may have resulted from erroneous HireRight background check results.
  8. Covered legal fees. You have the right to pursue a lawsuit against HireRight under the FCRA for harm caused by reporting errors without incurring any out-of-pocket costs. Yep! The FCRA makes HireRight pay for your legal fees and costs if you win.

    At Consumer Attorneys, we also offer 100% free legal consultations, so if you call to speak with us, you won’t pay anything out-of-pocket from the first phone call to the final resolution.

Which Companies Use HireRight for Background Checks?

As a company with a global reach, many companies use HireRight for employment-related background checks. However, some purported notables include Apple, Marathon Petroleum, Charter Communications, Samsung, and 3M.

What do Companies Use HireRight Background Checks For?

Companies use HireRight background checks to screen job candidates across various data categories, including criminal and financial profiles, identity verification, employment and education verification, drug screenings, and others. Companies also use HireRight products and services for ongoing employment monitoring, including criminal activity and drug use.

Can Errors Occur in Background CHecks from HireRight?

Yes. Whether HireRight or another CRA completes your employment background screening report, reporting errors are a problem that plagues the consumer data industry worldwide. HireRight is not immune to producing factually inaccurate, misleading, or incorrect information.

What Causes Errors in Background Checks?

The root cause of reporting errors is the fact that the consumer data industry, in general, relies almost exclusively on algorithms to gather, sort, select, and determine the relevancy of data without a meaningful or sufficient human review component. The volume of data and the vast sources of data streams are overwhelmingly enormous. While the algorithms are fantastic at using lightning speed to search far and wide, they currently like the nuance and refinement capabilities necessary to truly weed out erroneous data.

Humans (despite also being one of the sources of data errors) are much better at using logic, context, and experience to differentiate relevant from irrelevant data for a given candidate. For instance, an algorithm may include a criminal record in a HireRight background check report based on a match between a candidate’s middle and last name and a criminal offender’s first and last name. Trusting technology to accurately distinguish between minute details or full contextual profiles creates room for error.

Within this sea of data and algorithms, the most common sources of data errors are:

  1. Input or Data Entry Errors. These errors occur when information is input into a database. Mistakes include incorrect dates, birthdates, misspellings, etc.
  2. Mixed or Co-Mingled Files. These errors occur when information from unaffiliated individuals is co-mingled into a single report.
  3. Identity Theft. Identity theft (unauthorized access to another’s info) and identity fraud (unauthorized use of another’s info) can wreak havoc on a consumer profile, generating an abundance of erroneous data.
  4. Failure to Update. To keep the data technology processes current, they need to update regularly to capture new or complete information. Failure to do an update can cause outdated, inaccurate, or unfair data to make its way into a report. For instance, when certain criminal convictions are expunged (erased) after a period of time, municipal systems update their records to reflect this, but if HireRight’s system fails to update regularly, these updates aren’t picked up in the data collection process. So, a criminal conviction that is no longer reportable under the law may appear in an employment background check.

Main Types of Errors

In a real-world way, it might be easier to talk about the main types of errors that you’ll encounter with HireRight background check mistakes, which include:

  • Transposition of digits in a Social Security Number
  • Wrong or incomplete information in original documents
  • Incorrect criminal records
  • Outdated information (e.g., expunged convictions that were not updated)
  • Mistaken identity resulting in unaffiliated criminal records being associated with the wrong person
  • Information from Identity theft and fraud scenarios that are reported as accurate.
  • Information from someone else in your report (including criminal, credit, financial, employment, housing, etc.).

How Often Do Errors Occur in Background Checks from HireRight?

HireRight doesn’t share statistics about the frequency with which applicants using its products and services discover errors in their background check reports. However, a recent study found that industry-wide data reporting errors impact approximately one-third of consumers across the full spectrum of reporting types (credit reports, employment background check reports, rental screenings, etc.).

What are the Consequences of Having Errors in Your Background Check Report?

The most immediate consequence of having errors in your HireRight background check report is that you may be denied a new hire opportunity or you may be fired from a current position. Frequently, these types of reports are determinative, meaning that employers will base the full hiring or firing decision on the information included in the report.

Beyond the immediate job, mistakes in a HireRight report can also result in longer-term difficulty securing employment. This is particularly so with companies the size and scope of HireRight. For instance, if you do specialized work in a specialized industry and HireRight happens to provide background check services for several or many of the dominant employers within that field, a bad report can haunt you.

You Can Contact HireRight to Correct Errors in Your Background Report

Contacting the company to correct errors in your background report is called filing a HireRight dispute. HireRight provides an online dispute platform through its website, or you can file your dispute via phone or mail at the contact information provided.

We recommend filing your dispute via certified mail for several reasons.

  • Using the online dispute platform requires you to agree to terms and conditions that may include waiving your right to file a lawsuit against HireRight. This is not advisable at any time, let alone at the outset of your dispute. In our experience, consumers frequently run up against roadblocks, stalls, delays, shoddy investigations, and inadequate error corrections. Maintaining your right to file a lawsuit if necessary is vital.
  • Filing via certified mail is a great way to keep an official confirmation of the dates on which letters, forms, documentation, etc., are sent to HireRight.

We also recommend keeping detailed notes about every engagement with HireRight about the dispute and any documentation provided.

What to Do if You don’t Receive Answers to Your Background Report Questions

Because HireRight is a CRA, it is subject to statutory time frames with respect to investigating, responding to, and correcting disputed data. With some exceptions, HireRight is legally obligated to respond to your dispute within 30 days. If you haven’t heard anything by then, contact Consumer Attorneys to discuss the next steps.

You Can Sue HireRight if Your Report Contains Errors

Under the FCRA, you have the right to file a lawsuit against HireRight for reporting errors in your employment background screening if those errors caused you harm. Being denied a hiring opportunity or being fired are clear harms that can result. Related financial, emotional, or mental stress are others.

In addition, in the world of consumer data, certain reporting errors give rise to a right to pursue a lawsuit even if they don’t directly harm you. For instance, reporting you as deceased is considered harmful just for the fact of being erroneously reported.

If you are wondering whether you have grounds to sue HireRight for reporting errors or lamenting that “HireRight cost me a job,” you should contact Consumer Attorneys for a free consultation with one of our to-tier consumer protection lawyers today.

It is also worth noting that while you can sue HireRight for these reporting errors, you generally are not able to sue the employer who made hiring and firing decisions based on the report. The law recognizes that the employer is acting in good faith by relying on the accuracy of the report it purchased from HireRight and that the responsibility for the errors lies with HireRight.

Similarly, you can’t sue for a HireRight failed background check itself, only if reporting errors unjustly caused harm. For instance, if there is a data error in your report, but you were denied employment based on legitimate and accurate information in your report, you likely don’t have grounds to sue.

Who Can Help You Fix Errors in a HireRight Background Check Report?

A consumer protection lawyer is your best asset for protecting your rights against giant consumer data companies like HireRight. Call us today for a free consultation, no matter where you are in the dispute process:

  • At the very beginning: If you just discovered that a data error in your HireRight background check report caused you to lose out on a job or get fired from one you already had, Consumer Attorneys can help guide and advise you through the process.
  • At the end of the investigation period: If you have already moved through the dispute process and learned that HireRight completed its investigation only to “confirm” that the erroneous data is accurate, Consumer Attorneys knows what to do next. Unfortunately, this self-confirming data loop is a common problem when battling reporting errors. This happens when companies like HirRight simply return to the same sources, data, and procedures they used the first time and affirm that everything is accurate. This type of “investigation” is inadequate and does not meet the legal standard or their obligation.

Lawsuits Against HireRight

At Consumer Attorneys, our team of lawyers has helped thousands of clients fight back against unfair, unjust, and harmful reporting errors by HireRight and other CRAs. We know firsthand all of the tactics, strategies, and delays that are common and how to get you the error corrections and compensation you deserve.

Inaccurate Criminal Record

Our client, Amy, applied for and was offered a job contingent on passing a HireRight background screening. Though Amy had a low-level misdemeanor on her record from several years prior, she was not worried because it had never prevented her from successfully passing a background check before. However, despite her confidence, Amy was notified that the offer was rescinded due to her criminal profile. She later learned that HireRight reported her as having an extensive and recent criminal history, including felony convictions, drug offenses, bail offenses, and imprisonment. None of the incidents or events reported belonged to Amy. Instead, HireRight had matched her with another individual who shared the same first and last name but no other identifying criteria. We sued on Amy’s behalf, arguing that HireRight failed to meet its duty of accuracy in reporting, and won. After our successful lawsuit, Amy restored her consumer profile and received compensation for the harm she suffered.

False Criminal Record

After our client, Gregory had been working for Uber for approximately one year, the company ran a background check on him as part of its ongoing monitoring of drivers. The report, prepared by HireRight, erroneously included information that Gregory had been charged with and convicted of shoplifting, battery, and obstruction of officers. None of this information belonged to Gregory but was wrongful information about a criminal defendant of the same name. Had HireRight used adequate review protocols to asses the data, it would have been clear that the charges in question did not belong to our client. Unfortunately, Uber fired Gregory after reviewing this report, and he was forced to bring a lawsuit against HireRight to seek compensation and justice!

Ask for Our Help Now

If you experience HireRight background check problems, contact Consumer Attorneys today. With no out-of-pocket cost to you, there is nothing to lose in discussing your HireRight background check reporting error with one of our skilled consumer protection lawyers today!

There are several ways to reach us: call (+1 877-615-1725), email ([email protected]), fill out the online intake form, or use the virtual chat option to speak with us now.

With a nationwide practice, we’re always right where you need us to be. Call now.


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About the author
Daniel Cohen
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Daniel Cohen is the Founder of Consumer Attorneys. Daniel manages the firm’s branding, marketing, client intake and business development efforts. Since 2017, he is a member of the National Association of Consumer Advocates and the National Consumer Law Center. Mr. Cohen is a nationally-recognized practitioner of consumer protection law. He has a wealth of proven legal experience in the US in: collective claims, representing visually impaired people who believe their rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act have been violated in both the physical and digital environments, corporate governance and dispute resolution. Read more

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