Prior to the offer of a job to a potential employee companies will invariably carry out screening using background check companies. However as per credit reports, inaccuracies and errors affect people’s lives such as eligibility and opportunity for employment. Mindful of this 2 of the largest background check companies have been fined $13 million by federal regulators. They have also been ordered to pay refunds and relief for providing such inaccurate and erroneous information.

Those background check companies that were responsible for blighting the opportunities of so many thousands of Job applicants were General Information Services (GIS) along with it’s direct affiliate e background checks (BGC). The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has confirmed that these background check companies must pay $10.5 million, as relief, to those consumers affected adversely by their reporting. These background check reports are inclusive civil records and criminal history. The screening information then used to make employment decisions and applicant eligibility.

As detailed in the CFPB order. General Information services and it’s affiliate e background checks, cumulatively generating and selling millions of job application reports yearly, failed to exercise reasonable procedures over the accuracy and integrity of reports paid for by potential employers. The CFPB also confirmed that the background check companies did not request the middle names of job applicants and there was also no written policy for determining potential employees with common names.

Consequently the background check companies inaccurate reports were provided to prospective employers. Criminal records, dismissed and expunged, were assigned to wrong applicants. Misdemeanors had been reported, wrongly, as felony convictions. Around 70% of disputes (criminal history) between 2010 through 2014 saw changes made within the background report of the consumer. Information was also unlawfully included in reports supplied to prospective employers. Both companies also failed to prevent civil judgement and non reportable civil suit information older than 7 years from being illegally included within reports.

The actions of these two background check companies was likely to deprive applicants of employment, denial of economic opportunity along with reputational harm to applicants otherwise fully qualified. Consumers are to be paid $10.5 million. Those identified as being ‘negatively affected’ by their negligent actions and conduct must be compensated by around $1000 per person. Both companies must also pay a civil penalty of $2.5 million. They have also been ordered to retain an independent consultant along with initiating a full and effective audit program.

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