When you are applying for a new job or a promotion, an employer may run a background check before making a final decision. You might think this is no problem because you don’t have a criminal record and don’t think you have anything to hide. However, part of running a background check may include taking a look at your credit report and if there is negative information on there—even if it is false information—it could affect your employment status. Let’s take a look at the pitfalls of employer background checks.
First of All, They Have to Ask Permission
A background check is a pretty general term. It might include getting information about your criminal history, driving record, past employers, and rental history, as well as pulling your credit report. Your credit report contains sensitive information about your credit history, bankruptcies, liens, utility payments, and medical bills. Before an employer can obtain this information, they must have your written permission and inform you that they may base their decision on the information contained in the reports. This notice must be provided to you separate from other documents, such as an application.
Employers Must Inform You of Negative Information
If an employer finds negative information in your background check, they are required under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) to give you a copy of the report, provide you with a summary of your FCRA rights, and warn you that they are planning to deny you the job, promotion, raise, or transfer because of it (known as a pre-adverse action notice). This requirement is intended to give you a chance to dispute false information on the report.
When You Can Sue for Damages
If an employer fails to take all of the required legal steps in acquiring and utilizing your background information and you are harmed as a result, you may be able to sue for monetary damages. Common violations made by employers include:
- Failing to get your permission before obtaining a credit report or other background report
- Failing to provide you with adequate disclosures
- Failing to provide you with a pre-adverse action notice before denying a job or promotion
Not sure if your rights were violated? Give me a call.
Cardoza Law Corporation Can Help
Not only can we help you get your credit report corrected if it contains false negative information, but we can also hold employers accountable for taking adverse action against you without following the law. Contact me online to tell me what happened or feel free to call my office directly at 855.982.2400. I will be in touch right away to explain your rights and help if I can.