Failed a McDonald’s 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

McDonald’s runs background checks on applicants, but what happens if you are rejected? If you just ignore it, you may keep having the same problem because false information or errors may stay on your report. You have legal rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) to fix those mistakes or even sue for damages.

Does McDonald’s Perform Background Checks?

There is lots of conflicting information online about McDonald’s background checks. Tis One reason for this is that McDonald’s does not make information about its hiring policies publicly available. Another reason for this is that some McDonald’s restaurants are run directly by the company and others are franchises, which are individually owned.

With that being stated, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence indicating that McDonalds does conduct criminal background checks on U.S. applicants. Depending on the scope, this process generally includes searches of regional and national databases and similar sources for information pertaining to arrests, charges and convictions within time limits allowed by law.

There is also anecdotal evidence indicating that the McDonald’s application includes questions about any relevant criminal history. However, you may not need to answer these depending on where you are applying.

Because the background check required by McDonald’s is conducted for employment purposes, you have certain 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 old or erroneous information.

Within this context, you should be aware that state laws vary. However, federal law disallows information about arrests that occurred more than seven years ago from being included in background check reports. The only exception to this is if the yearly salary for the position you are seeking is more than $75,000. There is no time limit for conviction records.

You should also be aware that if McDonald’s uses another company to run background checks, it must have your written consent first.

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McDonald’s and Big Fast Foods Chains

Today, McDonald’s ranks among the best-known fasts food chains in the world, with more than 36,000 restaurants globally. However, its history technically dates to 1940, when Dick and Mac McDonald opened McDonald’s Bar-B-Q restaurant in San Bernardino, California.

Fourteen years later, salesman Ray Kroc went to the restaurant to sell more Multimixers and learned that the McDonald brothers were looking for a nationwide franchising agent. He opened his first McDonald’s in Des Plaines, Illinois in 1955 and made less than $400 on his first day. Six years later, McDonald’s System, Inc. bought the business rights from the McDonald brothers for $2.7 million, setting the stage for future growth.

Benefits of Working At McDonald’s

McDonalds reportedly employs nearly 2 million people globally. In the United States, workers are routinely hired to fill positions at McDonald’s restaurants. These entry-level positions include crew, cashiers, and maintenance technicians. Applicants with prior fast food restaurant experience or those seeking advancement can also apply for management positions within the restaurants. These include shift manager, swing manager or department manager. Finally, McDonald’s also hires people to fill positions in its regional and corporate offices in the United States.

Salaries will vary by position. However, as a McDonald’s employee you may also qualify for certain benefits, such as: paid time off, medical and dental insurance, life insurance and a 401K.

How Do I Qualify To Work For McDonald’s?

In general you must be at least 16 to work at McDonald’s although that may vary depending on the state where you are applying and the position you are seeking. All job seekers must complete an application and an assessment test. From that point on, the hiring process will vary depending on whether you have applied to a corporate store or a franchise.

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

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.

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McDonald’s Background Check Complaints

In 2017, a Southern California McDonald’s franchisee reportedly resolved a class action lawsuit alleging that, “the defendants improperly conducted background checks on thousands of job applicants.”

Plaintiff James Carter initiated the matter in 2015, when he claimed that several McDonald’s franchisees owned by the Shalhoub Family Trust had background checks conducted on more than 2,500 job applicants, without providing adequate information as required by law. Carter also claims that he was wrongfully terminated as a result, he had no criminal record, and that management denied his request for a copy of the background check report.

You Received A Pre-Adverse Action Notice From McDonald’s. 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

Your Right to an Accurate and Legally-Compliant Report From McDonald’s

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

Your Right to Dispute an Unfair Background Check Report from McDonald’s

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 McDonald’s 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 McDonald’s fails to meet those standards, the FCRA affords you a number of rights.

Your Right to File A Lawsuit Against McDonald’s if your report includes inaccurate or illegal info

If you lost out on a McDonald’s 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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  • We care because we know what it’s like to lose out on a job because a faceless company didn’t follow the law.
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Our mission is to fight for your rights. ✊

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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