Failed an Instacart Background Check?

You can dispute your report, or even sue, if an employment screening error cost you the job. No out of pocket expense for you.

Updated on Author: Sergei Lemberg

Updated on Author: Sergei Lemberg

Instacart runs background checks on applicants, but what happens if you are rejected? Don’t ignore it, or you may encounter the same problem if false errors remain on your report. You have legal rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) to fix those mistakes or even sue for damages.

Does Instacart Perform Background Checks?

Yes, Instacart requires criminal background checks for all applicants . However, the company says it assesses individual criminal histories in accordance with all applicable local, state, and federal laws;and its own belief in providing fair opportunities for employment.

Instacart also checks the driving/traffic records for full service shopper applicants to make sure they don’t have any significant violations.

Instacart says it can deactivate full service shopper accounts because of unspecified issues with background checks However, the company also says that it gives shoppers/applicants a chance to address any complications that may surface as allowed by applicable laws.

Within this context it is important to understand your rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). These are:the right to be informed if information from a background check has been used against you; the right to know what was in the background check report; and the right to contest inaccurate or outdated information.

You should also be aware that federal law excludes information about arrests that occurred more than seven years ago from background check reports unless the yearly salary for the position the applicant is seeking is greater than $75,000. There is no time limit for conviction records.

Finally, because Instacart doesn’t do its own background checks, it must have your written consent first.

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Instacart and the Gig Economy

Founded in San Francisco in 2012 , Instacart is a self-described technology company that caters to customers who don’t have time or don’t want to do their own food shopping. Specifically, Instacart offers a website and app that allow customers to order products from their favorite grocery store and then linking them with shoppers who fulfill and/or deliver the goods.

Instacart allows people to apply for positions as in-store shoppers or full service shoppers. In store shoppers are part-time employees that work directly for Instacart. As an in store shopper (ISS) you simply fulfill orders at a given location, you can work up to 29 hours per week and you don’t need a car.

As a full-service shopper , you are an independent contractorresponsible for fulfilling and delivering, or sometimes just delivering the order. In this role, you are essentially your own boss.

How Much They Promise You Can Earn

Other than a brief explanation indicating that Instacart compensation is contingent upon region and role, the company’s website offers little to no insight into how shoppers are paid. Instead, the company refers applicants or existing shoppers to their “initial offer letter or Independent Contractor Agreement.”

While anecdotal information indicates that full service shoppers (drivers) can make as much as $25 per hour at peak times, the real amount tends to fall somewhere between $7 and $20 per hour, with $11 per hour being the average.

How Do I Qualify To Work For Instacart?

To work for Instacart as an in store or full service shopper, you must meet certain basic requirements. In general you must be at least 18, you must be able to lift at least 30 pounds and you must be qualified to work in your country, and be willing to comply with the company’s rules pertaining to food safety and best practices. You must also have a smartphone equipped with specified operating systems.

If you are applying for an FSS position, you must have a functioning vehicle, proper insurance and proper registration.Although you don’t have to hold any special licenses to be a full service shopper, you must have been driving for at least two years and hold a valid driver’s license .

And they’ll also run a background check on you….

What are my Background Check Disclosure and Consent Rights?

A Summary of Your Rights Under the FCRA

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.

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Instacart Background Check Complaints

With Instacart’s Full Service Shopper Account Access Guidelines page offering little to no information available about how long the background checks should take or how to resolve any issues, some applicants have expressed frustration with the process. In one online forum , for example, applicant said he awaited results for more than a month and was unable to get any help from Instacart. Other users shared similar experiences and suggested turning to Checkr Inc., the company that conducts the background checks for Instacart.

You Received A Pre-Adverse Action Notice From Instacart. What Are Your Legal Rights?

By law, anyone who uses the information in a background check report to screen job applicants must let any applicant know when they didn’t get the based on the information in the report.

This means you have a right to see what is in the background check. Depending on your specific circumstances, you may also be able to sue the company that requested the background check and rejected your application, or the company that issued the background check 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 or deactivated by Instacart 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.

Your Right to an Accurate and Legally-Compliant Report From Instacart

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 background check report can include. A report cannot list civil suits, judgments, arrest records, paid tax liens, accounts in collection or most other negative information (except criminal convictions) after 7 years, or bankruptcies after 10 years. It also cannot list expunged convictions

Can I Dispute an Unfair Background Check Report from Instacart?

If you don’t get a job because of information on your 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 your report, the background check company must investigate and correct any errors within 30 days.

Were You Harmed By False Information or Errors In Your Instacart Background Check Report?

Often, whether you get hired or promoted depends on the information gleaned 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 background check companies get consent for and conduct background checks, and what they can do with the information they find.

If a background check commissioned by Instacart fails to meet those standards, the FCRA affords you a number of rights.

Your Right to File A Lawsuit Against Instacart if your report includes inaccurate or illegal info

If you lost out on a Instacart job or were suspended or fired 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 court costs.

Ready to Assert Your FCRA Rights?

Fired or Not Hired Because of an Unfair Background Check? If so, you’re in the right place.

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  • It won’t cost you a penny out of pocket – you pay nothing until we win money for you.

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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. 


Sergei Lemberg

About the Author:

Sergei Lemberg is an attorney focusing on consumer law, class actions related to automotive issues, and personal injury litigation. With nearly two decades of experience, his areas of practice include Lemon Law (vehicle defects), Debt Collection Harassment, TCPA (illegal robocalls and texts), Fair Credit Reporting Act, Overtime claims, Personal Injury cases, and Class Actions. He has consistently been recognized as the nation's "most active consumer attorney." In 2020, Mr. Lemberg represented Noah Duguid before the United States Supreme Court in the landmark case Duguid v. Facebook. He is also the author of "Defanging Debt Collectors," a guide that empowers consumers to fight back against debt collectors and prevail, as well as "Lemon Law 101: The Laws That Lemon Dealers Don't Want You to Know."

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  • Malcolm G

    I have been deactivated from Instacart deliveries due to reports of car accidents which I’ve submitted proof I was not at fault for. They keep calling them ‘violations’ meanwhile I have no citations or outstanding fines on my driving record. I need my job!

  • Sherri B

    All charges were dismissed I was.nevet convicted of anything but I was denied based on this.

  • Jordan

    I have been working for Instacart for 6 months now only to wake up this morning to a message saying I didn’t pass my background check. I have 5 star reviews and am known around town as a top shopper. This is my main source of income now what am I supposed to do…

  • Nicole A

    I have been working for instacart for about 3 weeks. I woke up this morning to an email saying my background wasn’t cleared and I’m confused why.
    Also it has my mothers name and info on the actually background so I’m super confused not to mention I have not gotten a charge in over seven years and half the stuff on there isn’t even my name

  • Robert

    Checkr did 4 different background checks (different gig work jobs) and got the one for instacart wrong on my ONLY conviction. They said maintaining common nuisance was a felnoy when in fact it was a what’s the misdemeanor. I sent them an email explaing it to them, but it was pointless. After waiting almost 2weeks i got denied the job Because of 1 nonviolent misdemeanor on my record, my drivering record is even perfect. They allow felons to work for them but not me? Why??

  • Robert J

    Misdemeanor from 1993 on my record for 3rd degree assault from a bar incident in my college years. Does this mean that they could bar me from working for them?

  • Sean

    Hello, i have felony a conviction from 19 years ago and they are on my record. Can a gig company like Roadie, Instacart, Caviar, DoorDash, etc… legally deny my application for employment?

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