You may encounter Active Screening as you search for a job. The company conducts a variety of employment background checks. Learn more about the company, the services they offer, and their obligations under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).
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What is Active Screening ?
Active Screening was founded in 1997, and is based in Tampa, Florida. The company offers employment background screening services. Active Screening describes itself as “a nationwide leader providing industry specific solutions that help employers make smarter hiring decisions and reduce time to hire.” It boasts more than 50 employees in its Tampa headquarters and more than 30% growth over the past 9 years, which it attributes to the fact that it gives customers “quality information” and “easy to use technology” and its ability to consistently meet commitments to clients. Its website informs visitors that Active Screening’s ability to “custom-tailor solutions to meet specialty demands has been proven through the development of several software solutions in the employment screening industry and through [its] subsidiary companies in the volunteer screening market.”
Active Screening conducts background checks for companies in a variety of industries, including for nonprofit organizations, staffing agencies, governmental agencies, educational institutions, and healthcare organizations. They conduct many different types of background inquiries, such as references, credentialing, immigration status, credit, criminal records, and driving records.
The decision to hire or promote an applicant or worker is based on several factors. Oftentimes, one component of a hiring or promotion decision is the information that surfaces as the result of a background check. Typically, the employer hires a third party – like Active Screening – to conduct a background check on its behalf. Depending on the outcome of the report, the hiring process may move full steam ahead or come to a screeching halt.
A federal law, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, mandates that the employer take certain actions when planning to conduct a background check. While it’s legal to use the information in a background check to make a hiring decision, the FCRA is designed to prevent that decision from being made based on false information. In other words, you have rights, and the employer must abide by the FCRA’s provisions. If they don’t, they can be sued in federal court.
Just as employers are required to abide by the FCRA, so too are background check companies like Active Screening. If a background screening company falls short, you have legal recourse.
If you feel you have been harmed by Active Screening, click 844-685-9200 ☎ NOW to call us or complete our short case evaluation form. We will fight for your rights. Our services are absolutely FREE to you.
What are my Background Check Disclosure and Consent Rights?
An employer must adhere to both disclosure and consent provisions of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. On the disclosure side of the equation, the employer must provide you with information that states their intention to conduct a background check. The law is explicit: they can’t bury the information in the middle of other paperwork. The disclosure must be separate and clear.
Consent goes hand-in-hand with disclosure. In order to conduct a background check, the employer must obtain your written consent to do so.
Typically, employers don’t conduct their own background checks. Instead, they hire a company like Active Screening to carry out the screening process and submit a report. Active Screening – or another background check company – can dig deeply into your past. They may do a records search, pull a credit history, and look through court documents and criminal verdicts. However, they can’t turn over the information to the employer unless and until the employer confirms that they have and will comply with the FCRA.
Your Right to an Error-Free and Legally Compliant Report from Active Screening
An employer has many options when it comes to background checks. One option is an investigative report. If an employer were to ask Active Screening to produce an investigative report, the company would likely speak with your friends, coworkers and neighbors to get a sense of your character and reputation. More common is a credit report, which provides a wealth of information about previous names and addresses, to whom you owe money, how much money you owe, whether any accounts are in collection, and whether or not you make your payments on time. Sometimes, a company will request a comprehensive report that has all of the information they can find, which includes your litigation and criminal background, your immigration status, your driving record, and whether or not you’re listed on various watch lists, such as the terrorist watch list.
In this digital age, it’s relatively easy for a company like Active Screening to unearth a wealth of information about an individual. Even so, the Fair Credit Reporting Act prohibits the inclusion of certain information. For example, an arrest record report can’t extend beyond seven years, unless you were convicted of a crime. Similarly, your credit report can only go back seven years, though a bankruptcy can remain on your report for ten years.
In addition to restrictions on the length of time certain items can remain on your background check, the FCRA mandates that background check companies take reasonable measures to ensure the accuracy of reports that they produce.
Your Right to Dispute an Inaccurate Report from Active Screening
Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, you have the right to know about a background report that shows you in an unfavorable light – before an employer makes a decision about hiring or promoting you. This “pre-adverse action” notification must be sent to you in writing, along with a copy of your background check and your rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
The ability to dispute an erroneous item on your background report is one of those rights. If you receive a notification and see that some of the information is inaccurate, it’s important to notify both the background check company and the employer. Once you have sent Active Screening a dispute notice, they have 30 days to investigate. If they discover they have made an error, they are required to issue a correct report.
Your Right to Sue Active Screening
The FCRA grants you another right: the right to sue a background check company in federal court for errors or inappropriate information that causes you to lose a job or promotion. If you sue and win, you can be awarded up to $1,000 in statutory damages, actual damages, punitive damages, court costs, and legal fees.
It’s hard to find a great job or land a promotion. There are people just like you who have suffered from an unfair employment background check and have fought back. They’ve sued companies like Active Screening for violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
The basis for many of these lawsuits is the allegation that the background check company was sloppy and didn’t have adequate measures in place. As a result, these lawsuits allege, incorrect felony convictions, outdated information, or incorrect information was included in background reports. Other times, lawsuits allege that the background report included negative information about someone with a similar name or the same name. Still others allege that the background check company violated the law by not investigating nor correcting errors in background check reports.
Ready to Assert Your FCRA Rights?
Fired or Not Hired Because of a Active Screening Background Check? If so, you’re in the right place.
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If you’re ready to assert your rights and fight incorrect information in your background check, we can help you get justice. Complete our form for a FREE case evaluation, or call 844-685-9200 NOW
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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.