If you’ve been denied a job, housing, or other opportunities due to false information in a background report, you know how critical these reports are. When a potential employer obtains a background report on you with errors in it, those errors can lead employers to rescind a job offer or fire a new employee. Lawyers who sue background report companies play a crucial role in protecting job applicants from inaccuracies.

Fix Inaccurate, Misleading, and False Information in a Background Report with a Skilled Lawyer

The background report lawyers at Berger Montague specialize in holding background report companies accountable for the false information they report about you, correcting errors, and securing compensation for you. Schedule a Free Consultation with Berger Montague now.

What is an Employment Background Report?

When you apply for a job, shortly after you start a new job, or as monitoring throughout your career, employers will often obtain a background report on you. These reports help the employer determine your suitability for employment or other opportunities. Employers hire companies to run these checks, meaning the employers aren’t usually liable for errors. However, employers must notify you of these checks and obtain your consent.

Reports often include any criminal records, driving records, phone and address records, employment history, education, and sometimes credit information. Errors in these checks can significantly impact your life and your chances for obtaining employment.

How are Background Reports Compiled?

Background check reports are compiled by companies called consumer reporting agencies (CRAs). These agencies gather data from various sources, like creditors and public record sources, and use algorithms to create reports. Errors occur when these companies include information belonging to someone else in your report, mix up family members, report criminal records that have been expunged, or report crimes as felonies when they are actually misdemeanors, among other mistakes.

The law requires background report companies to use maximal possible accuracy when compiling reports. Errors in a background report may violate your rights.

How to Fix Employment Background Report Errors

Errors in background reports can be corrected and if you have been denied a job, had your start date delayed, or have been fired because of an inaccurate background report, you may be able to obtain compensation. Here are the steps to follow:

    1. Contact a Lawyer: If you have been denied a job, had your start date delayed, or have been fired because of an inaccurate background report, you should promptly reach out to a background report attorney for guidance. Schedule a Free Consultation with Berger Montague now.
    2. Review Your Report: You have the right to review any background report on you. Request a copy from your employer or potential employer. They may direct you to the third party that compiled the report.
    3. Dispute Errors: Notify the background report company and the employer about the inaccuracies.
    4. File a Dispute: Request that the background report company correct the erroneous information, preferably via certified mail. Consumers can inadvertently waive some of their rights when disputing reports online by agreeing to terms hidden in online Terms and Conditions.
    5. Contact a Lawyer: If the background report company does not respond to you or does not fix the inaccurate information, they may have violated the law. Contact an attorney to help you navigate the dispute process effectively and protect your rights. Schedule a Free Consultation with Berger Montague now.

What Do Background Report Attorneys Do?

Background report attorneys are advocates who:

Know Consumer Rights Laws

Background check attorneys are well-versed in consumer protection laws, including the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and other relevant statutes. They understand the legal framework that governs how background checks should be conducted and what rights consumers have when errors occur.

Provide Guidance on Responsible Parties and Steps to Take

Identifying the responsible parties is crucial when disputing errors in a background report. Attorneys help you determine whether the error originated with the data furnisher, the consumer reporting agency (CRA), or another source. They outline the steps you need to take to address these errors, including how to gather evidence, document your claims, and communicate effectively with the responsible parties.

Advise on Best Practices to Protect Your Rights

Protecting your rights involves more than just disputing errors. Attorneys advise you on best practices, such as how to understand your background report, understanding your rights under the FCRA, and knowing how to respond to employers when errors are found. They help you navigate the complexities of consumer protection laws to ensure your rights are fully protected.

File Lawsuits if Necessary

If your job or potential job has been affected or a dispute with the background report company is not satisfactorily resolved, attorneys may be able to file a lawsuit on your behalf. They prepare and present your case, leveraging their knowledge of consumer rights laws to seek justice and hold the responsible parties accountable. Lawsuits can be a powerful tool to ensure compliance with the law, obtain compensation, and secure necessary corrections.

Secure Compensation for Financial and Emotional Harm

When there are errors in background reports provided to your employer or potential employer, those errors can cause significant financial and emotional harm. When you are denied a job or fired, you lose out on wages, benefits, and the time necessary to fix the error or obtain another job. You may be embarrassed or humiliated that false information about you was published and stressed about making ends meet without a job. Attorneys work to secure compensatory damages to cover financial losses and punitive damages to punish the responsible parties. They also seek compensation for emotional distress caused by the errors, ensuring you are fully compensated for all aspects of the harm you have suffered.

When Do You Need a Lawyer?

Contact a lawyer if you have been denied a job, had your start date delayed, or have been fired because of an inaccurate background report. If errors need to be corrected, contact an attorney to guide you through the process. Early legal intervention can save you time and frustration. Schedule a Free Consultation with Berger Montague now.

Can You Handle Background Report Problems Without a Lawyer?

You can handle errors alone, but it’s not recommended. Attorneys can resolve the situation more effectively and fully.

Errors Our Attorneys Can Help With

Our attorneys can assist with various background check errors, such as:

  • Data about a different person.
  • Inclusion of sealed or expunged records.
  • Misclassified criminal offenses (e.g., a misdemeanor being reported as a felony).
  • Being wrongly identified as a sex offender.
  • Being wrongly identified as a person on the OFAC list (a list of people U.S. companies cannot do business with).

What You Need to Know Before Contacting a Lawyer

You don’t need extensive knowledge before reaching out. Knowing there’s an error in your report is sufficient.

Compensation After Suing a Background Check Company

Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), you may be entitled to compensatory and punitive damages for harm caused by erroneous reports, and to have your attorneys’ fees paid for.

How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Lawyer?

Berger Montague provides free consultations, and you won’t pay out-of-pocket fees if we represent you. We don’t get paid unless we secure compensation for you. Schedule a Free Consultation with Berger Montague now.

Background Report Errors FAQs

What is a background report?
A background report (also called a background check) is a comprehensive profile of a person, which may include credit history, criminal records, driving records, employment history, and education credentials. These checks are often used to assess a person’s suitability for employment, housing, or other opportunities.

Who compiles background reports?
Consumer reporting agencies (CRAs) compile background reports. They gather data from various sources, such as credit card companies, banks, phone companies, and public records, and use algorithms to create a detailed report.

Can errors in background reports be corrected?
Yes, errors in background reports can be corrected through a dispute process. This process involves notifying the consumer reporting agency of the inaccuracies and providing evidence to support your claim.

Who is liable for background report errors?
The background report company, or consumer reporting agency, is bound by the law to use maximum possible accuracy when compiling reports and may be liable for errors in the report. Employers that rely on the reports are typically not liable, but they must inform you of the background check and obtain your consent.

Do employers run background checks?
No, employers do not run background reports themselves. They hire a background report company, or consumer reporting agency, to conduct the checks and provide the information.

Can I dispute errors in my background report?
Yes, you can and should dispute any errors you find in your background report. The dispute process involves contacting the CRA, providing documentation, and following up to ensure the errors are corrected.

Do I need a lawyer to fix background check errors?
While you can handle disputes on your own, having a lawyer can significantly improve your chances of a quick and effective resolution. Attorneys have the expertise to navigate complex legal issues and ensure your rights are protected.

What compensation can I get for background check errors?
Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), you are entitled to compensatory damages for financial losses and emotional distress. You may also receive punitive damages and have your attorneys’ fees paid for.

How do I contact a background check lawyer?
Contacting a background report lawyer is straightforward. Reach out as soon as you notice errors in your report, and they can guide you through the dispute process and represent you if necessary. Schedule a Free Consultation with Berger Montague now.

Are lawyer fees covered?
Yes, under the FCRA, the companies we sue are responsible for covering our costs and fees. This means you won’t pay out-of-pocket expenses for legal representation related to background check errors.

Trust Berger Montague

With over 50 years of experience, Berger Montague is a pioneer in class actions and consumer protection. Our 60+ lawyers handle complex legal matters and have recovered over $36 billion for clients. Contact us to defend your rights and secure your future.

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