Failed a Publix 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

Publix 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 Publix Perform Background Checks?

Yes , Publix requires background checks for job seekers. According to information posted on one website devoted to helping felons reenter the workforce, Publix says it outsources the process. Depending on the scope of the background check, this process usually involves a search of various databases and similar sources for information about arrests, charges and convictions within a time frame allowed by law.

However, anecdotal evidence indicates that having a criminal record doesn’t necessarily mean that Publix will reject your application. In the comment section of a 2014 career/employment blog, a Publix representative indicated that protocol varies according to the type of position the applicant is applying for and whether the incident(s) involved the commission of a violent crime.

Because the background check required by Publix 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against you; the right to know the contents of the background check report; and the right to dispute any inaccurate or outdated information.

Within this context, it is important to note that state laws vary. However, federal law excludes information about arrests that occurred more than seven years ago from background check reports. The lone exception to this rule is made when the yearly salary for the position you are seeking exceeds$75,000. There is no time limit for conviction records.

Finally, you should be aware that if Publix uses another company to run background checks, it must have your written consent first.

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Publix and Big Supermarket Chains

Founded in Florida in 1930 , Publix now claims to be the largest employee-owned grocery chain in the United States. Publix also says that it ranks among the 10 largest-volume supermarket chains in the country and that it generated more than $36 billion in retail sales in 2018. Publix employs more than 200,000 people and has more than 1,200 stores, nine distribution centers and 11 manufacturing facilities in the southeastern United States.

Benefits of Working At Publix

Publix usually hires people to fill the following positions at its supermarkets: sales associate, bagger, baker trainee, bakery associate, cake decorator, cashier, cleaning deli associate, and more. Applications are also accepted for open positions in the supermarket chain’s distribution centers, corporate offices and manufacturing plants.

Salaries vary by position. For example, salaries for cashiers and stock clerks start at $8 and $9 per hour, respectively. However, as a Publix employee you may also be eligible for certain benefits . These may include: an employee stock ownership plan; group health, dental and vision insurance; a 401(k) retirement savings plan with company match; tuition reimbursement; paid time off; and more.

How Do I Qualify To Work For Publix?

Minimum age requirements for employment at Publix range from 14 to 18 depending on the position. Additional requirements will also depend on the position you are seeking. For example, if you want to be a Publix cashier , you must be able to read write and do basic math. You must also be able and willing to follow instructions, and be able to work well in a group/public setting.

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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Publix Background Check Complaints

In 2014, Publix settled a $6.8 million class action lawsuit alleging that it used non-FCRA compliant disclosure forms in conjunction with pre-employment background checks Specifically, the suit alleged that the form used by the supermarket chain not only informed applicant that a background check would be conducted, but also requested that the job seeker hold the company harmless in connection with the process. The FCRA mandates the use of standalone disclosure forms.

Publix said it settled the suit to avoid costly and protracted litigation, and acknowledged that it changed its applications and pre-employment screening processes. However, Publix did not admit any fault in the matter.

You Received A Pre-Adverse Action Notice From Publix. 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 Publix

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 Publix

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 Publix 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 Publix fails to meet those standards, the FCRA affords you a number of rights.

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

If you lost out on a Publix 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.

  • Our 12-year track record of helping hardworking, regular people just like you speaks for itself.
  • We have the experience, knowledge, and dedication to get you the best results possible.
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  • We work to restore your reputation and get you the compensation you deserve. You focus on living your life.
  • We care because we know what it’s like to lose out on a job because a faceless company didn’t follow the law.
  • We will fight hard for you and won’t stop. We are not afraid to stand up to big, powerful companies. That’s what we do.
  • It won’t cost you a penny out of pocket – you pay nothing until we win money for you.

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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