Fix Employment Background Check Report Errors, Protect Your Rights, and Get Compensated with an Experienced Attorney
It may sound like a mouthful, but an employment background check error lawyer is a lawyer who practices consumer protection law. This area of the law is broad and covers just about every scenario you can think of that directly impacts you from a consumer standpoint.
Because our consumer-based economy is heavily driven by the gathering, compiling, buying, and selling of consumer data, this area of the law is also heavily data-centric. You already understand this in a practical way since you’ve been harmed by wrongful data in an employment-related background check report. You’ve likely added your name to the mass of people researching a list of lawyers who handle cases about wrong information given to jobs by background check companies.
Unfortunately, this is a common occurrence. However, the flip side of this fact is that employment background check error lawyers are kept exceedingly busy, which ultimately benefits you when you need one the most. For instance, at Consumer Attorneys, our lawyers have helped thousands of consumers deal with inaccurate, misleading, and false data in all kinds of credit and background check reports, including employment background check reports.
With this much experience, our lawyers have extensive knowledge of the nuance and complexity of the law, and of the kinds of roadblocks, stalls, and delays that commonly occur. Several federal laws (and their state law counterparts) exist to protect you when background check errors get reported, and these laws are ever-evolving to stay current with trends in industry processes and the problems that result. I’ll explain what employment background checks are, what to do if errors show up in yours, and how background check attorneys can help. Keep reading to learn about your rights, the obligations of those who harm you with wrong information, when to call a lawyer, and how to get compensation for financial and emotional stress.
What is an Employment Background Check?
An employment background check comprehensively reviews your consumer history across various metrics to determine whether you are an appropriate hire for a given company or position. Not all employers require a background check, but for those who do, the things they look for are explicitly tailored to the job in question.
There are two levels of employment-related background checks.
- Pre-employment background checks. These background checks are run during the application process when you are a candidate for a new job. They can occur at any point during the pre-hiring process. Most frequently, they occur as a final step before an offer of employment is made or after you’ve accepted an offer contingent on passing a background check.
- Ongoing employment-based background checks. These background checks are run during your tenure with an employer. They can even be run throughout your career with an employer. The need for a background check during your employment can be triggered by lateral or vertical promotion into a new position that requires it or simply by the nature of your job.
For instance, if you are employed in the ridesharing industry or any other industry in which you’re responsible for operating a vehicle during your work, you may be subject to certain ongoing employment background checks.
What do Employment Background Checks Look For?
Employment background checks can look for things like educational history and credentials, prior employment history and credentials, credit history, criminal history, driving record, and whether you appear on government watch lists.
Does the employer run the background check report?
Notably, the answer to this is no. Employers do not run background checks themselves. Instead, they hire other companies to run the report, which involves the gathering, reviewing, and compiling of consumer data about that individual. The companies that run these checks and provide the reports are called consumer reporting agencies (CRAs).
These CRAs buy the data from other companies. Those selling the data are usually data furnishers ( the companies you know, like banks, credit card companies, service providers, loan financers, etc.) or third-party companies who scan public records for information and sell it to CRAs.
This is important because it means that your employer or prospective employer is usually not liable for hiring or firing decisions based on employment background check report errors. This is because they are generally just relying on information provided to them in the report. However, the CRA that compiled the report and any data furnishers or third parties that provided the wrongful data may be liable. An employee background check error lawyer will be able to identify the responsible parties in your scenario.
Is the Employer Ever Liable for Background Check Errors?
Your employer or prospective employer can be liable for further spreading the false information in your background check report (such as by reporting it to another entity) or for failing to give you notice of the employment-related background check and the opportunity to provide fully informed consent.
When you call Consumer Attorneys, one of our experienced consumer protection lawyers will be able to assess the facts of your situation and advise you on whether the employer has any liability with respect to your injuries.
What to Do If You Have Errors in Your Pre-Employment Background Check
If you are denied a job due to errors in your pre-employment background check, you should follow these steps to a positive resolution.
- Consult with a consumer protection lawyer. These are the attorneys that handle pre-employment background check lawsuits. Not only can these lawyers sue on your behalf if the errors aren’t corrected in a timely or effective way, but they can also provide sharp legal guidance and advice regarding relevant federal and state law throughout the process.
- Review the background check report in depth. Your prospective employer is required by law to provide you with a copy of the background check report. Sometimes, when you complete the background check with the company that runs it, you can select auto-receipt of a copy of the report when it’s complete. Otherwise, the employer will provide one. Additionally, they must identify which details in the report resulted in the adverse hiring decision.
- Inform your employer that you dispute the information. Provide formal notice to your employer that the information in your pre-employment background check, on which they have based their hiring decision, is erroneous and that you are filing a formal dispute with the appropriate parties.
- File a formal dispute. Follow the protocols and procedures of the CRA that compiled the report to dispute it. The CRA must inform any relevant data furnishers or third parties about your dispute so they can investigate the accuracy and veracity of the information. Provide any required explanation, context, and documentation.
Address information should be provided for filing your dispute and supporting documents via certified mail. This is preferable.
- Request and review your credit reports. Whether or not a credit history was part of your employment-related background check, we recommend reviewing your credit report from each of the three main CRAs (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) to look for any errors, discrepancies, or mistakes. You can request a free copy annually at annualcreditreport.com, by phone at 877-322-8228, or by mailing the printable request form to the address on the website.
- Talk to an attorney. If you have not already done so, we recommend reaching out to an employment background check report error lawyer to go over the details of your case. Even at a mid or late stage of the dispute process, a lawyer is an extremely helpful ally in achieving a successful outcome.
What Do Background Check Attorneys Do?
Employment background check error lawyers (also known as consumer protection lawyers) do several key things that can supercharge your chances of a successful outcome.
- Know the law. When it comes to your rights, employment background check error lawyers know the laws that impact your situation, give you certain rights, and give the CRAs, data furnishers, third parties, and employers certain obligations.
Errors in an employment background check report are regulated under the Fair Credit Reporting Act on the federal level and in comparable legislation on the state level. Knowing how to navigate this legal landscape can be critical to achieving a successful outcome. At Consumer Attorneys, our lawyers are extremely well-versed and experienced in this area of the law.
- Provide legal guidance. An employment background check error lawyer will help you know what to expect every step of the way. They will determine which companies should be held responsible, make sure you know exactly what you need to do, and explain the statutory timelines.
- Provide legal advice. A skilled lawyer will be able to advise you on the best practices for protecting your legal rights and help mitigate the financial and emotional harm you (and your family) suffer.
- File an employment background check error lawsuit. While filing a lawsuit is not always necessary, when it is, having a top-level employment background check lawyer on your side is critical. Despite the frequency with which these errors occur, the CRAs and other entities still regularly fail to investigate these disputes adequately or correct mistakes in a timely, sufficient, and effective way.
- Get your compensation. The FCRA and other relevant laws give consumers the right to seek compensation when wrongful information in an employment background check causes financial and emotional harm, or when the errors are reported and inadequately investigated and corrected (regardless of harm). A skilled employment background check lawyer will be able to help you determine the type and extent of compensation you’re entitled to.
- Help restore your consumer profile. In our consumer economy, having incorrect, inaccurate, or misleading information in your consumer credit profile can be truly harmful. At Consumer Attorneys, our lawyers will make sure that you do not face ongoing issues with errors in your credit profile.
When Do I Need a Lawyer for a Background Report?
We recommend that you contact an employment background check error lawyer as soon as you’re informed, or you discover that wrongful information in your background check report resulted in an adverse hiring decision. This also applies if you lost out on a promotion or were let go due to errors in an employment background check that was completed during your employment.
However, no matter what stage of the dispute and resolution process you’re in, it is never too late to contact an attorney for help. In fact, many people don’t realize they actually need a lawyer until later in the process (after the CRA has completed its investigation and determined that the disputed information is “accurate”).
Is it helpful to you if you reach out to a lawyer early? Yes. Can you reach out to a lawyer later? Also yes.
Can I Handle a Background Report Problem Without a Lawyer?
You can handle a background report problem without a lawyer, but we don’t recommend it. The employer, CRAs, data furnishers, and other parties may provide information on how to dispute putative errors in your employment background check report, but simply knowing the steps is frequently not enough to achieve a successful outcome.
This is primarily because the entities involved have no incentive to actually prevent, investigate, or correct the errors. Practically, this means that consumers who find themselves dealing with an employment background check error frequently end up finding that the “dispute” ends with the CRA “confirming” that the erroneous fact is “true.” Working with an employment background check error lawyer is one way to avoid these pitfalls, stalls, and roadblocks that can slow, inhibit, or prevent error corrections.
Errors in Your Employment Background Report Our Attorneys Can Help With
At Consumer Attorneys, our lawyers can help with any erroneous information in your employment background check report. This includes such things as:
- Mixed or co-mingled consumer data. This refers to background check reports containing data about two different consumers. Input errors can cause this to happen (incorrect dates, birthdates, name spellings, etc.). It can also result from collection algorithms that are too broad and have insufficient review protocols.
- Misleading or inappropriate criminal history. Including sealed, expunged, or obsolete criminal records in a report.
- Misleading or Incomplete information. Including or omitting information in an incomplete way that allows for erroneous or confusing interpretation.
- Displaying data in misleading ways. Presenting data in a way that allows for erroneous or confusing interpretation.
- Misclassifying the type of offense. Erroneously increasing the severity of a particular charge or offense.
- Inaccurate dates. Including information that would otherwise have excluded certain information from inclusion in the background check in the first instance.
In addition, employers, CRAs, and data furnishers may also be liable if:
- They failed to inform you that consumer data would be included in a background check.
- They failed to secure written authorization for the disclosure of the background check report.
- They failed to provide a copy of the background check report if any adverse action was taken relying on the report.
What You Need to Know Before Contacting Lawyers Who Handle Wrong Information Given to Jobs by Background Check Companies
Background check companies (CRAs) giving wrong information to an actual or prospective job following a background check can have harsh or devastating consequences. We recommend that you contact a lawyer who handles employment background check report errors as soon as you are made aware that a hiring or firing decision has been based on wrongful information in your report.
You do not need to know anything beyond this before contacting an attorney to handle this situation. This is because the attorney can advise, guide, and take the lead throughout the process, ultimately sparing you time, energy, and financial and emotional consequences.
If you have already begun the dispute process or you’ve already been told the disputed information has been verified as true, it’s not too late to contact Consumer Attorneys. Our employment background check error lawyers can step in at any stage of the process to defend your rights.
Compensation You Will Get After Suing Background Check Company
Under the FCRA, you are entitled to compensatory and punitive damages for harms suffered due to employment background check errors.
Compensatory damages make YOU whole again. For instance, if being turned down or let go resulted in financial consequences, such as missed payments, debt collection harassment, etc., compensatory damages will give you back everything you lost. This includes calculating a monetary value for emotional harm and stress.
Punitive damages make THEM think twice before engaging in similar behavior again. However, our lawyers note that CRAs, data furnishers, and third-party entities have been making these same mistakes, undertaking poor investigations, and failing to make timely or adequate error corrections for a long time despite paying out punitive damages repeatedly.
Employment Background Check Errors Lawyer Fees
At Consumer Attorneys, when you call, email, or chat online to set up an initial consultation with one of our outstanding employment background check error lawyers, you should know that you will never pay out of pocket for the consultation.
If one of our lawyers decides to take your case, you will also never pay out of pocket for any of our fees and services. This is because, under the FCRA, the companies we sue pay our legal fees if we win.
With no upfront or out-of-pocket legal costs ever, and the prospect of securing top-notch legal support throughout a very disempowering and stressful experience, contacting Consumer Attorneys is a win-win! Call today to speak to one of our lawyers!
Trust Our Attorneys Who Handle Background Check Errors for Employment
When it comes to employment background check errors that result in hiring denials or post-employment firings, having trust in the legal profession is all about who you entrust with your story, your vulnerability, your chances of salvaging your career, and your prospects for regaining a healthy financial and emotional life. At Consumer Attorneys, we understand that this is everything to you, which is why it’s everything to us, too.
With over seventy-five years of combined experience, our attorneys have the experience, knowledge, and talent to provide you with the most current, forward-looking legal advice and guide you toward a positive outcome. If you’ve been harmed by inaccurate, misleading, and false information in an employment background check report, our lawyers can help.
Contact Us When You Need a Background Check Lawyer
If inaccurate, misleading, or false information in an employment background check report results in a hiring denial or unfair firing, the skilled attorneys at Consumer Attorneys can help.
With lawyers in twenty states and a nationwide referral network, we either have a lawyer who handles employment background check report errors in your state, or we can get you to a lawyer who can. There are several ways to reach us: call +1-877-615-1725, email email@example.com, fill out the online intake form, or use our virtual chat option.
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