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When "John Smith" is the Wrong "John Smith"- Avoid Adverse Action Lawsuits

Updated: Dec 10, 2023

Why A Thorough Background Check Is Better than a Rush Job.




Magnifying glass signifying looking closely at employee screening records

There are many reasons why employees come and go, and in the rush of a competitive hiring climate, it is important that you get the proper background check, with a company that will get you the results as quickly as possible while following through the proper Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) compliance steps. Sometimes that means an extra verification step if there is a potential hit on the employee’s results. Sometimes the promise of a 100% instantaneous turnaround by an employee screening company is a red flag.


A Common Problem In Screening of Employees

Business owners need results fast and often rely on an indexed criminal database search called a Multijurisdictional Database Search (MJD). The MJD is the foundation quality background checks. It searches hundreds of federal, state and local criminal databases for characteristics (name, date of birth, etc) that match the candidate and typically comes back almost instantaneously. It is a great “pointer” test that reveals potential “hits” on your candidates. It is the responsibility of the screening company to determine if these “hits” relate to your candidate.



So, why does it take longer when there is a potential hit on a MJD?

Due to the index nature of an MJD, when a “hit” is believed to be legitimate based upon the data returned by the MJD, it is essential to verify it with a physically searched report at the county courthouse to verify the hit did in fact relate to your candidate. This is not always done by many employee screening companies and can result in adverse action against the employer. Your screening professionals at MyHRScreens are knowledgeable in this arena, and pause the process to dig deeper.



An adverse action lawsuit can easily happen over misinformation.

Unfortunately, lawsuits are becoming a reflex and it is likely that if you don’t maintain compliance, that you could leave yourself open to a legal nightmare if someone is not hired due to false accusations of criminal activity.


Class action lawsuits that claim violations of the FCRA can indeed be costly to employers. In 2018 and 2019 alone, 7-Eleven paid $1.9 million, Delta Air Lines paid $2.3 million, Omincare paid $1.3 million, a subsidiary of PepsiCo paid $1.2 million, and Frito-Lay Inc. paid $2.4 million to settle class action lawsuits over alleged violations of the FCRA.


When you are called in to court to prove your results or to argue a case, you MUST have the highest standard of due diligence possible, as proof. If you do not, then you face expensive court costs and possible further litigation.


Working with a company such as MyHRScreens that automatically performs this high level of due diligence to protect you is important. You can rest easy that there will be little chance of a mistake with thorough searches.


It is important to understand that an otherwise instant turnaround time, may be slowed, briefly to protect both you and your candidate. MyHRScreens feels that compliance and mitigating the employer’s is a priority and automatically perform this level of verification for clients. Some courthouses will respond in minutes through electronic means and other will take a little longer, but this is worth the time, and can save you money and turnaround in the long run.


Employers and background check firms will continue to be targeted by class action lawsuits that claim alleged violations of the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) so don’t rush the process. Make the smart and compliant hire.


Connect with us. We can help secure an accurate screen.

Let us help you by connecting you to a comprehensive screening program. For more questions about employee screening contact us at 866-899-8970 x.118 or email klewis@myhrsceens.com.





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