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Employment Law/Fraudulent Background Check


I was recently turned down for 2 jobs after I interviewed.  The interviews went great, I was told that I interviewed the best and was most qualified for the position.But then I received a letter in the mail from the employers stating I did not pass my background check and was no longer eligible for employment with those companies.  I found the company that did the check and requested the file be sent to me.  I found a felony on my record that did not belong to me.  I disputed the information and both jobs had been filled before they had my background check fixed.  After reviewing the FCRA, I found that they have to provide me with a complete log of my information, as far as how they retrieve the information and what companies they provided it for.  I received the log in the mail.  While reviewing the 55 pages they sent me, I noticed that they only did a Name and DOB match for the county I reside in.  After looking at the offense that was falsely put on my record, the name nor DOB matched mine.  After reading further into the log, I found out the company is owned by and they simply do an Internet database search of my name and DOB then copy the information into my background sheet.  While doing this, they listed a felony of another name and DOB onto my background check that cost me the jobs.  This was all out neglect on their part.  They also have all e-mails sent to and from employees that were related to my case in the log.  In one e-mail, the supervisor states "Can you please see to pull the file and see why this was reported as name and DOB match.  When we called the court we were advised the name on file and the DOB do not match what was provided to us from  Fix your mistake ASAP."
 Basically, the supervisor states that an employee put the wrong information onto my background check.  The name, DOB, or social security number does not match mine at all.  Not only is this defamation of character, but one company will not even consider me for a job any longer because of this mess.  The background company contacted the supervisor on several different occasions because of the mistake they made and were trying to get her to hire me to prevent anything further from happening.  She said it has been a complete hassle for her.  This has cost me a lot of time, a lot of headache, and 2 jobs all because one person did not do their job correctly.  It states in the FCRA that it is an offense that can be taken to court if neglect can be proved on the companies part.  It also shows the multiple e-mails that had been sent to the supervisor.  They clearly prove neglect in the logs they have sent me.  I have been 3 months now without a job trying to get this messed straightened out.  It took them over a month just to send me the documents of my file. I'm wondering if this company can be sued before they do the same thing to someone else.


Based on the facts you've presented, it certainly appears as if you have a good case against this company under the FCRA.  You've done your research well, so you have already seen what that particular law says.

I encourage you to contact an experienced employment attorney in your area to get advice on how you should proceed.  If you don't know of one, you can get a referral from the state or county Bar Association where you live.  Just put "bar association attorney referral" and the name of your city or county into your preferred search engine, and you'll find the right web sites to get started looking for a qualified attorney.

I hope you find this helpful, and wish you well in your efforts to resolve this unfortunate situation.  

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Frank C. Magill


I can answer questions about any U.S. labor or employment law question. I cannot answer questions about non-US law. I am not a specialist in employee benefit law (ERISA and HIPAA) or Workers' Compensation law, but will do my best to point questioners toward good resources availabe online. Expertise includes, without limitation, EEO/Affirmative Action/Employment discrimination (Title VII, Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Americans With Disabilities Act, GINA, Fair Credit Reporting Act as applied to employment); Fair Labor Standards Act; Texas labor code; Family Medical Leave Act; employee compensation; discipline and dismissal; force reductions, severance pay programs and administration; collective bargaining, union representation, grievances and arbitration, National Labor Relations Act and National Labor Relations Board; employee handbooks; staffing; dispute resolution outside of traditional labor agreements; employee communications; employment policies and compliance programs; codes of ethics; employment or labor litigation.


30+ years experience as corporate counsel for a Fortune 100 telecom company, specializing in labor and employment law issues. In addition to providing day-to-day advice to my company's internal HR leadership and staff, I've represented the company in numerous labor arbitration cases and at the bargaining table.

Texas, Illinois and Missouri state bars

J.D. 1979, Harvard Law School. B.A., Summa Cum Laude, 1976, Illinois Wesleyan University.

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