Do I have a Lawsuit?

I interviewed for pt dispatcher at local pd. I disclosed my criminal history
during interview. The police chief ran an unauthorized background check trying to
prevent my hiring and it didn’t work. I was truthful about background and council
voted me in. When the first background check didn’t work the police chief done
another in depth background check without authorization from his superiors and
without consent from me. I do not know what the background check showed because I
have not received a copy did not sign a consent and have not been able to explain
whatever showed up. This has never been done to another employee and whatever
showed up on the report got me terminated. The city said they do not run
background checks because they can’t afford it.

Asked on June 16, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Alabama


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You are operating under a misconception: that employee consent is needed for a background check. It is not--any person can run a background check on any other person at will without consent. There is also no obligation to share the results of background checks to prospective employees, or to give prospective employees a chance to rebut the results. What you describe may be immoral or unfair, and it may violate the normal procedures for this job, but it is not illegal, and therefore, there would be no lawsuit.

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