The team at Cohen & Mizrahi can help job applicants who feel they were deprived of a good opportunity by an improperly-conducted background check and may find that they are entitled to financial compensation.
RULES FOR BACKGROUND CHECKS
Over the last decade, companies have reported paying out more than $320 million to resolve individual and class-action lawsuits accusing them of violating the FCRA with their background check procedures -- including big-name employers like Wells Fargo, Target and Uber, according to court data compiled by the non-for-profit group Good Jobs First.
Wells Fargo agreed to pay $12 million to resolve a class-action suit filed in a federal court in Virginia. The lead plaintiff in the case, who said the bank never gave him notice of a background check or the results of the probe before turning him down for a position, was awarded $10,000.
In 2019, a Pennsylvania federal court awarded $562,000 in a class-action suit filed on behalf of more than 1,000 people who say their criminal histories were incorrectly reported in employers’ background checks -- including low-level offenses that were reported as more serious misdemeanors.
While employers are allowed to run background checks, they may be restricted by state or local laws as to whether or not they may consider those reports when offering jobs to applicants.
The California and Massachusetts state governments, for example, restrict employers from considering applicants’ criminal records for cases that didn’t end in a conviction.
Additionally, some states and cities have “Ban the Box” laws prohibiting companies from asking about criminal histories on job applications.
And if employers decline to hire an applicant based on information they obtained from a background check into their criminal records or their finances, they must tell the applicant where they obtained the information.
HOW WE CAN HELP
Cohen & Mizrahi attorneys can assist job applicants who feel a faulty background check deprived them of a new job.
Applicants may be able to file suits under the FCRA if their background reports contain information about another person or inaccuracies in their criminal reports, such as unfairly increasing the severity of their offenses.
They may also have cases if they claim that they were passed over for hiring or promotions based on offenses that had been expunged from their criminal records.