Insight

Background Checks and the Law: Know Your Rights

Background Checks and the Law: Know Your Rights

Greg Mansell

Greg Mansell

November 19, 2019 09:57 AM

I was terminated based on the results of my background check. Do I have any rights or recourse in this situation?

Federal law requires that an employer take specific steps before procuring a background check on a current or prospective employee. If a background check is procured and the results are unfavorable for the employee, the employer must take specific steps before taking adverse employment action against the employee. If the specific steps described below were not followed in your situation, please reach out to an Ohio Background Check Lawyer for a free case evaluation.

First, before procuring a background check, the employer must give the employee a standalone disclosure form that a background report may be requested. The employee must then give written authorization for the employer to obtain the background check. If there is extraneous language contained on the disclosure form, the employer may have violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

If the employer procures a background check and decides to terminate you or not hire you based on the results, the employer must provide two documents before taking any such action. The employer must provide you: (1) a copy of the background check that was relied upon and (2) a summary of your rights under the FCRA.

Depending on the circumstances, an employer may also be required to take certain steps after it makes a final decision to terminate or not hire you. These requirements including providing: (1) notification that adverse action has been taken based on the background check; (2) the consumer reporting agency’s contact information; (3) notification that the consumer reporting agency did not make the decision to take the adverse action and is unable to provide specific reasons why the adverse action was taken; and (4) that you may request a free copy of the background report and may dispute the accuracy or completeness of any information in a report.

For violations of the FCRA, the law allows employees to recover actual damages, statutory damages, punitive damages, and attorneys’ fees and costs. Your Columbus Background Check Lawyer is determined to aggressively pursue these remedies on your behalf.

The laws governing background checks were put in place to give the current or prospective employee the opportunity to correct any inaccuracies contained in the report or to put the results of the background check into context. If an employer took adverse employment action against you based on your background check and did not follow the specific procedures described above, you may have a claim under the FCRA. Each situation is different and a full review of the facts may be necessary to evaluate your case. If you think your rights have been violated, please reach out to your Columbus, Ohio Background Check Attorneys today for more information and to schedule a free consultation.

Mansell Law, LLC

Employment and Background Check Attorneys in Columbus, Ohio

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