Is it legal to run a background check without permission
Imagine spending countless hours brushing up on your resume, compiling proper dates from your previous employment history, and carefully crafting compelling job descriptions to highlight your skill set.  After submitting your resume, you receive the coveted phone call
“You are invited to interview for the position, when can you come in?”

Excitement surfaces as you eagerly watch YouTube videos to prepare for tough interview questions. After a good night sleep, you have a healthy breakfast to fuel your mind, put on your best business appropriate attire, arrive early, say hello to the receptionist, offer a big smile, and patiently wait in the lobby.  

Your name is called, you ace the interview with flying colors, offer a confident smile to the receptionist as you exit, and get a call back before you hop on the bus. The hiring manager compliments you on an impressive interview and assures a call back.

Something on your resume triggers the hiring manager to investigate a questionable item on your resume and the hiring manager requests a screening company to conduct a background check on you. Lo and behold, something from your distant past is flagged by the screening company for review by the hiring manager.  

You receive a call the next day with some good news (“you did amazing at the interview”), some bad news (“unfortunately, based on our due diligence we have decided to take a different direction”), and then the final let down (“you’ll land on your feet somewhere, best of luck”).

Background Check Discrimination and Error Filled Employment Background Checks

What happened? What went wrong? They liked me a minute ago!

Did something in my past come back to haunt me? If it did, how did they find out? Did they google me?

Or did they run a background check on me?

Are they allowed to pull my background without my consent?

If I did consent to a background check, why didn’t the employer give me a copy to review for errors?

A common scenario with background checks is that some often include errors about the person’s employment, education, credit, driving, and/or criminal history.  These errors could be damaging, hence affecting your chances of employment.

When an employer informs a screening company to conduct a background check, the employer must give you a copy of the report.  It is at that point that you are allowed to spot the errors, inform the employer of the inaccuracy, and dispute the errors with Credit Reporting Agencies like a screening company.

According to FCRA attorney Robert P. Cocco, there are specific guidelines in FCRA law that limit how employers are able to obtain and/or use a Background Check.

In this hypothetical, the hiring manager requested a background report to be pulled, you identified the errors, brought it to their attention, yet still did not get the job because they said there were no errors in the report and that you were wrong (that’s not in the above hypothetical).

Disputing erroneous data on your background report is your right as a consumer.

It is important to for you to know that BEFORE employers obtain and use your background information, they must certify to Consumer Reporting Agencies that they did the following.

  • Advised you a report has been requested on you;
  • Obtained your written consent for the check (in a stand-alone document);
  • Provide a copy of the background report and a written summary of your rights under the FCRA at least five (5) days before making a decision whether to hire or fire you

By law employers must comply with FCRA requirements.

If this experience sounds familiar to you or if you believe there are errors on your report that the employer disregarded, you are protected under FCRA law to dispute use of the background check and the errors on the background report for hiring purposes.

There also may be state laws in the state you live in which give you added protections if you have a criminal history that limit an employer’s use of that information for hiring purposes.

Furthermore, it is highly recommended that you contact a capable attorney able to represent your rights as a consumer against any employer and/or screening company that violates your legal rights by unlawful use of a background check in the hiring process.

Attorney Robert P. Cocco has extensive experience and offers a FREE Consultation to help consumers understand their situation better and then provide you proper advice on how to navigate the situation.

Attorney Cocco will stand by your side, hear your concerns, and make the best strategic approach, in your best interest.

Is It Legal To Run A Background Check Without Permission? Background Check Without Permission

Nervous About Background Check

When unlawful background checks happen, many hardworking individuals can be affected by the employment denial. Some may become nervous about background checks. They no longer plan to pursue the opportunity that makes the most sense for them and instead settle for a job that is available regardless of their employment goals.

There is no need to feel insecure or nervous about a background check if you are denied employment due to an error in the report. The error is not your fault and it is not a reflection of who you are as a capable potential hire.  

If a job offer is rescinded due to a background check, you have a right to know why, see the background check, and inform the employer and background screening company of any errors on your report.  

Do not let future consequences of failed background checks stop you from applying for positions that you desire or are well suited for.

Illegal Background Checks

Before any employer can obtain and use your background information they must have your written consent for the background check. Without that written consent, the employer is in violation of an FCRA law specifically written to protect your rights as a consumer from illegal background checks.

Despite the clarity and the specificity of FCRA regulations, many employers, both large and small, continue to fail to abide by these laws.  For this reason, bringing a claim under the FCRA can be substantial, in that a claim can be made from both an individual standpoint as well as a at the class action lawsuit level.

This provides more reason for proper counsel in these types of scenarios.

Attorney Robert P. Cocco

“Bob expertly handled my case…in a lot less time than I could ever have imagined. The outcome of the case was simply unbelievable also…Bob is the only consumer lawyer I will ever use. I highly recommended you use him too.”

If you have any questions or the slightest concern on whether or not an employer might have used your background check unlawfully, Attorney Cocco will offer you a FREE consultation to review your scenario and talk with you about the possibilities.

4.8/5 - (6 votes)


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