When a Background Check Has Errors

Can a background check have errors? We’ve discussed how certain errors may pop up on a background check in regards to financial history, and this is often an indicator of identity theft. But other errors can occur, and these are often random. One instance in the Baltimore area of an error cost a woman her job. According to the linked story, the woman was fingerprinted and checked with the NCIC database, the one maintained by the FBI. Although this article doesn’t mention the specific error, it’s implied that Eschol Amelia Studnitz had a criminal charge in her background when her fingerprints were compared.

But, as seen in this instance, the background check had an error, for which Studnitz later received an apology from the government – but not her employer. Her employer, after the criminal background check came back, fired her because of this error. Now the employer, according to this Baltimore Sun article, is being evasive as to why they won’t rehire her, even after she reapplied for the position this past October.

Although Studnitz plans to sue the government over this error, as it cost her employment, the real travesty in this incident is the former employer, Corporate Mailing Services, refused to give Studnitz her position back. While CMS is putting the blame on Studnitz making errors on the job, would Studnitz still have the job if this error didn’t come back on her background check? Although that is unknown, the logical stance, in this instance, would’ve been for the employer to rehire her immediately and to offer an apology, as, up until the background check, Studnitz’s employment seemed secure. Instead, Studnitz continues to remain unemployed because of this. Although background check errors happen in regards to any aspect, including criminal history, once they are corrected, a company should reconsider or correct its own dismissal errors.