When it comes to employment, accuracy must be at the forefront. Candidates proof their resumes, making sure all documents are free of typos and fully reflect experience, but employers themselves are not let off the hook. As a recent, record-making settlement shows, background check companies cannot be sloppy.
According to the Washington Post, Oklahoma-based company HireRight Solutions is expected to pay $2.6 million for not verifying information on its criminal background checks reports. This amount is the second-largest criminal penalty for violating consumer information laws. The complaint was filed on behalf of the Federal Trade Commission by the Justice Department, claiming that HireRight failed to determine its reports’ veracity, did not provide consumers with copies of reports, and did not look into its reports’ disputes.
As we have mentioned on multiple occasions, failing to provide accurate background screening information bars an individual from employment. As the FTC found, HireRight’s reports were full of glaring inaccuracies that likely prevented individuals’ from being hired. Specifically, the erroneous information included listing expunged criminal offenses, printing identical criminal charges more than once in the same report, providing incorrect information on a candidate, or screening the wrong individual entirely. Because of these offenses, the FTC determined that HireRights’ errors denied individuals employment or benefits. The background check company, as well, was charged with violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Anthony Rodriguez, a staff attorney at the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, stated to the press:
“It’s difficult enough in this economy to find employment. People shouldn’t have to worry about dealing with background screening information that’s inaccurate.”
HireRight, however, is not the only background screening company to not thoroughly check its work. As we mentioned back in June, such errors are more common than candidates think, and employers looking for such services are recommended to investigate the screening company first.