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Background Check


Employers can win or lose cases that arise when someone is fired on the basis of an unfavorable background check, depending upon the circumstances. Make sure to comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act, which requires an employer to get an applicant's written authorization prior to having an outside for-profit entity conduct a background check, and further requires an employer to tell an unsuccessful applicant or a discharged employee that the unfavorable report is the reason for the adverse action and to inform the individual of the name and address of the entity furnishing the report. This should be easy to comply with, since an employer is allowed to insist on the applicant signing such an authorization as a condition of submitting an application for employment. If the background report reveals information that the applicant should have supplied on the application or during the interview, but failed to, the employer will probably be able to prove misconduct, assuming that the claimant is unable to furnish a compelling explanation that the report was wrong. If the report has information that the employer did not ask about, the result will probably be that the claimant will win benefits, since the background report will presumably be about past problems of the claimant, not about anything that could be considered misconduct connected with the work from which the claimant was terminated.


See also: Job References and Background Checks


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