AccurateNow (formerly Hirease) is one of numerous employment background check agencies you’re likely to face during your job search. Find out who they are, what they do, and what rights you have under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)
What is AccurateNow?
AccurateNow f/k/a Hirease is a division of Accurate Background, LLC as the result of Accurate Background’s 2014 acquisition of Hirease. It is based in North Carolina. Accurate Now offers automatic background check solutions for small and mid-sized businesses. The company describes its background check services as “affordable,” “fast,” and “compliant.”
AccurateNow provides virtually every type of screening and background check by using the applicant’s name, birth date and social security number including:
Sex offender registry
County, state, national, and federal criminal checks
County and federal civil checks
Global Watchlist Search
National and international employment and education checks
Personal and professional references
Social Security number tracing
The company is accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS).
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Were You Harmed By False Information or Errors In Your AccurateNow Report?
Whether you get hired or promoted often depends on the information learned from an employment background check. A background check can come in many shapes and sizes. It may be as simple as verifying your social security number. Or it may include a detailed report of your credit and criminal history, or even information gathered from interviews of your friends and neighbors about your character and reputation.
Whatever the scope of the background check, the FCRA sets strict standards for how employers and background check companies get consent for and conduct background checks, and what they can do with the information they find.
If a background check company like AccurateNow fails to meet those standards, the FCRA gives you rights.
Background checks are susceptible to errors. Individuals who handle public and private data about you can make mistakes and computer systems can also fail to to be accurate. Here are some of the most common causes for inaccurate info showing on your report:
Wrong or incomplete data in original documents
Typos such as number transposition
Copying, filing, and search mistakes
File corruption in computer system
Outdated negative information
What are my Background Check Disclosure and Consent Rights?
You have a right to know if an employer will use information from a background check against you and an employer cannot obtain background check information without your express written consent.
A background check company cannot hand over your information to an employer unless the employer certifies that: (1) it has “clearly and conspicuously” disclosed to you in a separate document that it may obtain a background check; (2) you have authorized it to get the background check; and (3) it will provide you with advance notice of any adverse action based in any part on the background check report, a copy of the report, and a summary of your rights under the FCRA.
What if I get an adverse action notice from an employer after a background check?
If an employer takes “adverse action” against you by denying you a job based partly or completely on information in a background check report, the employer must give you notice of that fact. The adverse action notice must include the contact information for the background check company and an explanation of your rights to dispute the report.
Can criminal convictions appear on my background check after 7 years?
Yes, but a background check company must take reasonable steps to ensure its report is as accurate as possible. The FCRA also puts limits on the negative information a job screening report can include. A report cannot list civil suits, judgments, arrest records, paid tax liens, accounts in collection or most other negative information after 7 years, or bankruptcies after 10 years. It also cannot list expunged convictions. However misdemeanor or felony criminal convictions that go on record and are accurate can stay on your background check indefinitely.
Can I dispute a false disposition on my background check report?
If you don’t get a job because of information in a background check report, you are entitled to a copy of the report. You also have the right to dispute the report if it has errors or includes information it shouldn’t. If you dispute a report, the background check company must investigate and correct any errors within 30 days.
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Can I Sue AccurateNow if my background report includes errors?
If you lost out on a job or promotion because a AccurateNow background check report included inaccurate or illegal information, you may be able to sue in federal court. If you sue and win, you may be entitled to your actual damages or statutory damages up to $1,000, plus punitive damages, attorneys’ fees, and costs.
Complaints Against AccurateNow
Hardworking people just like you who lost job opportunities due to an inaccurate or unfair Accurate Now employment background check report have already sued its parent company Accurate Background for FCRA violations. Justia lists at least 17 federal civil lawsuits against them, including cases that allege violations of the FCRA due to improper employment screening reports.
For example, on February 15, 2018, a consumer sued Accurate Background in California in a case pending in the federal district court for the Northern District of California for violating the FCRA in connection with an employment background check and that he lost employment opportunities and suffered emotional distress, reputational harm and other damages. The complainant alleged that Amtrak offered him a job subject to a background check. Accurate Background prepared the background check but failed to use reasonable procedures to ensure the maximum accuracy possible of the report as the FCRA requires. According to the complainant, this company falsely listed a felony conviction (assault with a deadly weapon) on the complainant’s report when, in fact, the felony belonged to someone else with a similar name, but a different birth date and personal identifying information. The complainant immediately disputed the felony conviction and obtained confirmation from the local court that he had no criminal record and provided it to Accurate Background and Amtrak. Amtrak nevertheless rescinded the complainant’s job offer based on the inaccurate background check report.
This is just one of at least 8 federal civil FCRA lawsuits filed against Accurate Background between January 1, 2017 and March 15, 2018 alone. Most of those lawsuits allege that they did not take reasonable steps to verify criminal background information and, as a result, falsely branded the complainants as convicted felons and caused them to lose job opportunities. Several complainants filed their lawsuits as class action complaints, on behalf of themselves and similarly situated people.
The BBB and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) have also received complaints Accurate Background that include any complaints against its division, Accurate Now, alleging that the company violated the FCRA in connection with employment background checks. The BBB gives them an “F” – its lowest rating, based at least in part on the fact that Accurate Background failed to respond to any of the consumer complaints made to the BBB. The CFPB has received 49 complaints about Accurate Background since November 2014. Most of the complaints to the BBB and CFPB allege that Accurate Background reports falsely listed felony convictions, included expunged, outdated, or incorrect information, or misidentified the subject of the report. Some complaints also allege that Accurate Background was not responsive or did not properly handle disputes about inaccurate information.
Accurate Now 1930 North Poplar Street, Suite 20 Southern Pines, NC 28387 Phone: 866-693-1764 Website: https://accuratenow.com/
Ready to Assert Your FCRA Rights?
Fired or Not Hired Because of a Accurate Now Employment Background Check? If so, you’re in the right place.
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About the Author:
Sergei Lemberg is a lawyer whose practice focuses on consumer law, class actions and personal injury litigation. He has been repeatedly recognized as the “most active consumer attorney” in the country. In 2020, Mr. Lemberg represented Noah Duguid in the United States Supreme Court in the case entitled Duguid v. Facebook. He is the author of Defanging Debt Collectors, a book that teaches consumers how to battle debt collectors and win.