There’s a reason the Fair Credit Reporting Act regulates the way employers use professional third-party background check companies, and that’s to ensure everyone is treated fairly and mistakes aren’t made. Consider the 53-year-old man in Michigan who recently was stripped of his new job because of a felony conviction found in the background check process — a conviction that belonged to another man with the same name.
The man who lost his new job has now filed several federal lawsuits, including one against the background check company that allegedly compiled the report. He claims the background check company didn’t follow FCRA regulations when handling his background report.
It’s not uncommon for background checks to turn up false information on applicants, which is why FCRA regulations must be strictly adhered to, to make sure an applicant is informed of the background check is being done, and is notified if something is found on the report that could have a negative impact on the applicant’s chances for the job. Then the applicant should be given the chance to dispute errors in the background check, although the employer is not required to hold the job open during that process.
Besides being sure to follow proper protocol during the background check process, do some quality research to make sure you’ve hired a reputable, accredited background check firm that has checks and balances in place to ensure accuracy in its reports.