Woman Sues Employer and Background Screener Over Mix-Up that Turned Life ‘Upside Down’

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Woman Sues Employer and Background Screener Over Mix-Up that Turned Life ‘Upside Down’

A Florida woman is struggling after a mix up with her employers’ background screening process allegedly resulted in her losing her home, her vehicle, and her children. She shares the same name and date of birth as a violent offender in Pennsylvania. The employee notes that this case of mistaken identity has happened before with the same employer, a transportation network company; she previously had to submit fingerprints and contact Pennsylvania’s authorities before being able to continue working. The mix up occurred once more when her employer’s new background screening company returned the same results and the employer suspended her again. This time, the employee decided to sue the company as well as the background screener for damages and is alleging that they willfully violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Click here if you’d like to read more about this story: https://www.wftv.com/news/local/tampa-woman-sues-lyft-after-she-says-background-check-mix-up-turned-life-upside-down-/1002257735

This instance of mistaken identity demonstrates that employers should properly vet their background screening providers’ reporting policies, specifically their matching criteria. Most background screening companies have a separate policy in place for reporting common names that is more stringent than their standard reporting policy. Employers should also follow proper adverse action guidelines to ensure that the candidate or employee has a chance to dispute any incorrect information before a letter of denial is issued. Technical errors such as this are avoidable and HR teams can mitigate their risk by partnering with a background screener that thoroughly verifies the information they report.

Please feel free to reach out to CRC’s Sales team at (877) 272-0266 if you have any questions or concerns about your current process!


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Newspaper’s Hiring of a Convicted Sex Offender Raises Questions About Ban the Box Compliance

A newspaper in New Mexico hired a convicted sex offender to report on local schools. When it was reported that the employee was on the sex offender registry, the paper stated that he had failed to self-disclose that information. The employer then pointed to New Mexico’s recent passing of ban the box regulations to explain why they didn’t run a background check during the employment process. These laws, which have been enacted in over 35 states and 150 cities and counties, mandate that employers do not require candidates to self-disclose their criminal history during the initial job application.

Does this mean that background checks cannot be ran in states, cities or counties that have passed ban the box regulations? No. The best practice is to wait to ask about criminal history until after a conditional offer of employment has been made. The candidate can then have an opportunity to self-disclose their criminal history and a background check can be conducted at that time. Additionally, employers may want to confer with legal counsel prior to making changes to their screening policies since misinterpreting the law can result in cases such as this.

Please contact CRC if you have any questions about Ban the Box and how it affects your organization!