business owner

In today’s digital era, the significance of a correct and comprehensive background report cannot be understated. Whether you’re applying for a job, leasing an apartment, or seeking credit products, a background check can play a decisive role. But what happens when there are errors on your background in the job offer? What if your dream job slips away due to incorrect information on a background check? Every year, countless individuals are subjected to background checks as part of the hiring process. For many, this is a mere formality. But for some, the appearance of incorrect information on a background check can turn a promising job opportunity into a nightmare. Read on and speak with a seasoned San Diego consumer lawyer to learn more about background check errors and the steps you can take to protect yourself.

Protecting Your Employment Prospects: Dealing with HireRight Background Check Errors

HireRight is one of the leading companies employers use to run background checks. Just like other background check companies, they aren’t immune to errors and wrong information. Mistaken identities, outdated information, or technical glitches can lead to false information in your background report. So, how do you protect yourself from inaccurate information and get the right background information?

  • Run a Self-check: Before starting your job hunt, consider running a background check on yourself. This will give you a heads-up if there’s incorrect information lurking in your background.
  • Review Every Detail: If an employer uses HireRight or another background screening company, always request a copy of the report. This is the best way to make sure there are no errors on your background and criminal record.

Summary of Your Rights Under the FCRA

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) isn’t just about credit. It offers a set of rights for consumers when it comes to any consumer report, including background checks. Under the FCRA:

  1. You have the right to be informed if information from your background check has been used against you.
  2. You have the right to know what is in your file.
  3. You have the right to ask for a re-investigation if you dispute information in your file.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), a federal law, protects consumers from erroneous information on background screening reports, just as it does for credit reports. This legislation mandates that background check companies, also known as consumer reporting agencies, ensure the information they provide is accurate. If you believe there’s incorrect information on your background check report, you have the right under FCRA to file a dispute.

What is a Background Check Error?

A background check error could range from outdated criminal records, incorrect criminal history, wrong middle initials leading to mistaken identities, or a mix-up in public records. Such errors can lead to potential employers getting a false sense of who you are. Always check so there are no errors on your background and your criminal record is clear.

What If My Background Check Contains Incorrect Information?

If you find incorrect details in your background screening report, don’t panic. Begin by gathering documents or evidence that support the correct information. If the error is someone else’s criminal history appearing on your background check, helpful documents might be court documents that prove a case was expunged or that the single criminal charge belongs to someone else.

Denied Employment Due to Incorrect Background Check

An incorrect background check can lead to denied employment. If this happens:

  • The employer is legally bound to give you a pre-adverse action notice.
  • You have the right to dispute the incorrect details.
  • If the employer still decides not to hire you, they must give you an adverse action notice.

Help From a Consumer Protection Law Firm for a Background Check


If the background check error or common errors have severe repercussions, consider seeking legal counsel. Many consumer protection law firms specialize in FCRA violations and can guide you in taking appropriate action against the background check company or employer.

How To Dispute Background Check Mistakes

  • Contact the Background Check Company: As soon as you spot the error, contact the background screening company for the background check results.
  • Submit a Written Dispute: Always put your dispute in writing. Send it via certified mail with the return receipt requested.
  • Provide Supporting Evidence: Along with your dispute letter, provide copies of any evidence that supports your claim.

Preventing Errors

Prevention is better than cure. Before starting your job or employment hunt:

  • Run a Self-check: Periodically run a background check on yourself. This helps in identifying and rectifying mistakes before they can impact your life.
  • Check Public Records: Ensure that public agency records, especially concerning criminal convictions, are accurate.
  • Guard Your Personal Information: Protect yourself from identity theft by being cautious with how and where you share personal details.

How Long Does It Take to Dispute a Background Check?

Under the FCRA, the background check company typically has 30 days to investigate and respond to your dispute. However, this might vary depending on the complexity of the error. It’s crucial to remain proactive and follow up if necessary.

  1. Review the Report: Always request a copy of your background check report, especially if an employer takes adverse action based on its results. Carefully review it for errors.
  2. Contact the Screening Company: If you identify errors, contact the background screening company directly so they can address the errors that occurred in the background check process. Under the FCRA, the company is obligated to investigate the disputed details within 30 days.
  3. Provide Proof: Submit evidence that supports your claim. This could be documents that show the correct details or proof that the erroneous information pertains to someone else, For instance, a mismatch in the social security number or middle initial. Basically, any information to show the background check errors to the background screening companies.
  4. File a Dispute in Writing: It’s advisable to send your dispute via certified mail, return receipt requested. This provides a record of your communication. Clearly explain the challenged information and provide copies (not originals) of documents that support your case.
  5. Inform the Potential Employer: If the dispute pertains to employment, notify the potential employer about the error and that you’ve initiated a dispute. This transparency can sometimes give you an edge and demonstrate your proactive approach.
  6. Seek Legal Recourse: If the screening company fails to rectify the mistake after your dispute, consider seeking legal advice. The FCRA provides for legal remedies if consumer rights are violated.


While essential for employers, background checks can sometimes become a source of undue stress for job seekers due to errors. Being proactive, understanding your rights under the FCRA, and knowing the avenues available to rectify mistakes can go a long way in ensuring that you don’t lose out on a job or employment opportunity due to incorrect information. Always remember, when it comes to your personal and professional reputation, you have the right to ensure accuracy and fairness.