Many employers now investigate new employment candidates and current employees before making any employment decisions.
To do this, employers use background checks from credit reporting agencies to review criminal histories and records of past employment. These background checks can contain false or misleading information. Regardless, candidates have a right to know if adverse information on their background report has ruined their chances of employment or caused them to lose their job.
You may have a case under the Fair Credit Reporting Act if you notice the following things on your background report:
You may also have a case if you have experienced the following procedural incidents:
There was adverse information found on your background report and you were not notified at the same time your employer was notified.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act provides victims of false background checks and misuse of these reports with a way to recover certain damages. These damages may also be recovered along with your attorney’s fees.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act provides for the recovery of reasonable attorney’s fees in successful cases. We handle these cases on a case-by-case basis. Our clients do not pay out of pocket and pay nothing unless we recover damages on their behalf.
We also pay referral fees to referring attorneys. Clients can contact our attorneys after completing the checklist below.
Human errors in the interpretation of court records and statutes are quite common for background check companies. This may cause a misdemeanor offense to show up as a felony on your record. The Fair Credit Reporting Act requires that background companies follow procedures to insure the maximum possible accuracy of reports. If you discover that this has happened to you, an attorney may be able to help you dispute these errors or help you pursue other remedies.
Background check companies regularly fail to update their records of convictions. This means that they will not check to make sure items that have been expunged also come off of peoples’ background reports. The Fair Credit Reporting Act requires these companies to use procedures to insure that the reports are accurate and up to date. If your report contains an expunged conviction, you may need help from an attorney to dispute the item or seek other help.
If your employer intends to take any adverse employment action against you, your employer must give you a copy of your report first. In many instances, if your background report contains any derogatory information from a public record, such as criminal history, the background reporting company must also send you a report at the same time. If you did not receive both copies of your background report before you were fired, denied a raise or rejected for a promotion, you should contact an attorney.
Similarities in names, birthdays, locations or even human error can result in a background report with multiple persons information on it. The Fair Credit Reporting Act requires that background companies follow procedures to insure the maximum possible accuracy of reports. If you notice an item on your background report that wasn’t committed by you, you may need help disputing the problem or getting other forms of help.
Before an employer can run a background check on you, they must ask your permission. They must also give you a notice of your rights. The employer cannot get you to waive your rights in this form. If you did not receive a notice of rights or give written permission for the background check, you should consult an attorney.
If you are denied a job because of a background check, you are entitled to a pre-adverse action notice and a copy of the background report that the employer used. This means that your employer must tell you that he intends to take some form of adverse employment action before they actually deny you a job or a promotion. They must also give you a copy of your report before taking any adverse action. If you have not received any kind of notification because of a negative item that appeared on your background check, you should contact an attorney immediately.
Many types of errors can appear in background checks. Background check companies regularly include information belonging to multiple individuals on a single report and misreport the true identity of individuals with criminal records. Many of these companies refuse to update records, causing reports to include convictions that were overturned, expunged or dismissed. In some cases, the formatting of these reports can be misleading and cause employers to reject otherwise qualified candidates. If you have been denied a job or house because of a background check, you may need an attorney’s help.
This information is used for us to gauge where you are in the process so we can better help you through the process.
In this important educational series, Michigan consumer law attorney Ian Lyngklip of Lyngklip & Associates discusses important considerations regarding Background Checks.