Want to know how to fix Checkr background check errors and recover money? Checkr 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 Checkr Inc?
Checkr, Inc. was founded in 2014, and is based in San Francisco, California. The company offers employment background screening services in the United States and internationally. It boasts that it “provides global solutions” for companies in all industries. Two software engineers founded the company as the “technological solution to a human resources challenge.” The company explains that the background screenings rely on trust and transparency and that is responsibility is to “be accurate and help [its] clients avoid errors.” According to Checkr, it “has found the way to balance safety and consumer protection.”
Checkr counts Uber, Lyft, Instacart, Postmates and GrubHub among its base of customers. This 180-person CRA is also actively expanding outside of the tech and gig economy. It recently began working with the staffing giant Adecco, for example, as well as the major insurer Allstate.
The company 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
It also offers drug testing, security and compliance resources. 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 Checkr 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 Checkr 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.
What if I was deactivated or fired because of an accident and it wasn’t my fault?
You may have legal recourse now if you were fired because you were involved in a no fault car accident, thanks to a groundbreaking decision handed down by the United States Court for the Sixth Circuit. The court held that material omissions, such as not reporting the fault of an accident, can be interpreted as inaccurate information under the law.
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 Checkr if my background report includes errors?
If you lost out on a job or promotion because a 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.
Actual Complaints Against Checkr Inc
Hardworking people just like you who lost job opportunities due to an inaccurate or unfair Checkr employment background check report have already sued the company for FCRA violations. Justia lists at least 29 federal civil lawsuits filed against Checkr Inc between October 2015 and April 2018 most of which allege violations of the FCRA due to improper employment screening reports.
For example, on April 9, 2018, a consumer sued Checkr in the federal district court for the District of the District of Columbia 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 he worked as a driver for Uber with his continued employment subject to a background check. The agency 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, the agency falsely listed a criminal offense record, specifically “bad check/pass/insufficient/$500 and up, misdemeanor” on his background report when, in fact, the criminal record belonged to someone else entirely. Uber suspended his ability to drive for it and informed him this was based on his criminal history reflected in the background report.
This is just one of at least 27 federal civil FCRA lawsuits filed against Checkr since October 2015. 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. Some complainants filed their lawsuits as class action complaints, on behalf of themselves and similarly situated people.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) have also received complaints alleging Checkr violated the FCRA in connection with employment background checks. The BBB has received 74 complaints in the last three years, with 44 closed in the past 12 months. The CFPB has received 45 complaints about Checkr since June 2016. Most of the complaints to the BBB and CFPB allege that Checkr reports falsely listed criminal charges and convictions, included expunged, outdated, or incorrect information, included other outdated or incorrect information or misidentified the subject of the report. Some complaints also allege that the agency was not responsive or did not properly handle disputes about inaccurate information.
Actual Complaints Listed on the BBB website
“On June 15 2018, I had applied for a job to be a driver with Lyft and Uber and on June 29, 2018 the Company CHECKR disclosed information from 16 years ago. According to FRCA consumer reporting agencies are only allowed to disclose background check information from up to 7 years prior, Checkr violated this rule and as a result my application was denied by Lyft and is under review by Uber. Checkr also reported false information even after I corrected and sent them proof they still continued to report this information”
“I applied with lyft and uber. Lyft was completed in less than a week. Uber has been pending for 2 1/2 weeks! These ppl has no idea how much $$$ I have lost waiting like a sitting duck which extremely frustrating and unprofessional. I was informed by the rep that once they request the background report they just have to wait until it becomes available. How inconsiderate is that. There is a such thing as a “follow up”. But they tell me they don’t follow up. That tells you a lot about a company. A rep also informed me that they also send people into the courts to pick up the requested documents. Do you think this has been done in my case? Annoying! I guess someone needs to be a sitting duck and out of work for several months before they get off their a&& and stop being inconsiderate and have someone go into the Court house to pick up the documents. And this little scripted response of “your background is in its final stages” is getting very old! Final stages until when hell freeze…”
“Checkr erroneously reporter to UBER about a background check issue. After reading other reviews this seems like a COMMON issue. I would like to work for Uber but based on the error in reporting background checks correctly I was unable to. I was able to get on with LYFT with no problem at all. After spending almost a whole day trying to figure out why my Uber account wouldn’t work it was because checkr was incapable of performing the simple task of reporting to a business that they are most like being paid good money to report honest information to.”
“They erroneously reported to UBER that I have a suspended driver’s license, which isn’t true. I had received a letter from the DMV about a seat belt ticket I received while driving in the state of New Jersey. The DMV informed me that my license would be suspended on June 29, 2018, if I didn’t either challenge the ticket, or pay it. I informed Checkr of this error, but they keep blaming the DMV, stating that the DMV has suspended written on my driving record, and that I should contact them. The DMV confirmed that my license is not suspended, but would be on June 29th, if I didn’t comply, which I already have. I also went to UBER about the situation. UBER sent in snapshots of the DMV notice, and proof that everything was satisfactory. Checkr is still refusing to cooperate. I have, so far lost around $700.00 due to their error.”
1 Montgomery Street, Suite 2000
San Francisco, CA 94104-5520
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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.