This article explains why you should fear a criminal background check, even if you’ve never done anything wrong. It documents that at least one study found a 41% error rate in background checks. Errors that harmed the consumer.
An all too often problem occurs in these hard economic times. The criminal background check. The potential Employer has you sign a document. Granting permission to run a background check. A couple of years ago, you got a misdemeanor. For example, Possession of marijuana. You paid your fine and court costs, contributing to the judicial fund, the court fund, the sheriff’s fund, and went on with your life. Little did you know, an error was made somewhere along the way and you have been labeled a felon.
A few years down the road, you apply for a job. Sign the permission to run a background check. And are denied the job. For the stated reason there is a felony on your record. (Note: the potential employer must first give you the opportunity to correct the flag, if it is in error, before denying you the job).
A felony? But it was just misdemeanor possession of such a small quantity of pot, the judge merely imposed a fine. Not even probation. Now what.
The FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act), a federal law codified at 15 U.S.C. § 1681 et seq. applies. Before denying you the job for the felony found on your record, the employer must give you written notice of what the flag was, and the name and address of the company that performed the background check. You have a right to dispute it. Do so. And provide the court record that shows it was a misdemeanor. The company has thirty days to respond. And if the background check company doesn’t respond and doesn’t fix the error, sue them in federal court.
Also. Report the company to the FTC. For misreporting information on your background whether you sue or not.
For some guidance. Read this information provided by the FTC.