Errors in Background Checks Affecting Job Applicants

With two-thirds of companies now requiring background checks in their hiring process, more people are seeing mistakes on their records. Background checks are in high demand for many jobs and there are more and more ways to get one. There are companies who conduct the checks and there are websites where criminal records can be found. With more checks being requested, there are more companies, that do not have to be licensed, offering this service.

It has been published that many of the databases where the background checks are pulled from are incomplete and outdated. It is the company who gives the check who are responsible to ensure the information is as accurate as possible. Companies who are found not doing this are subject to hefty fines. Once there is an error on your file it can be difficult to fix or may take weeks, costing applicants job opportunities.

Darlene T. Martinez was a victim of such error and it cost her a job. Darlene was happy to receive a job offer from a local hospital doing housekeeping shorty after being laid off from her previous job. After her criminal background check she would be given the job and she knew her record was clean. Darlene was shocked when she learned the job offer was revoked after the results of her background check. Darlene Martinez, 57, was confused with Darlene Foster Ramirez who was found guilty in 2009 of a dangerous drug possession charge. The report created by Universal Background Screening said it was verified by Social Security number and date of birth. However, Darlene Martinez was able to confirm that neither were the same. Universal Background Screening still denies any wrongdoing and said they rarely make mistakes. It is unclear how Darlene Martinez was confused with Darlene Ramirez because their only similarity is their first name. Martinez has taken the company to court claiming they did not follow the correct protocol when finding that she had a “criminal” record. The company is supposed to notify the person in writing when a background check with a criminal record has been reported and the consumer can dispute that giving the company who did the check 30 days to investigate the information. Martinez said that neither of these things happened and she learned about the negative background check from the hospital.

It was three weeks before her record was corrected and it cost Darlene the job at the hospital. In an already tough economy where jobs are hard to come by, there is no room for error when it comes to background checks.