Can I seek damages against a background check company if I lost a job due to false information on the check?

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Can I seek damages against a background check company if I lost a job due to false information on the check?

The company reported a felony. The crime was a misdemeanor and over 20 years ago.

Asked on October 29, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Colorado

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If the company made the error, then you may be able to hold them liable, since their negligence, or carelessness, caused you a loss; but if they were not negligent and the information was wrong in their sources (e.g. how the court recorded it), then they would not be liable, since they would not have been at fault, and fault is required for liability.
However, note that even if they were at fault, there is a rather high hurdle for you to get over: you have to prove they caused the loss, which means you'd have to prove that you would have had the job but for the background check (and not that you did not get it for some other reason). This may require affidavits and/or testimony to that effect from the employer who chose to not hire you.


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