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Can I sue for Defamation for an incorrect background check?

Posted by Andrew Weiner | Dec 16, 2015 | 0 Comments

We receive numerous calls from applicants and employees who ask if they can sue a background check company for defamation because the background check company included inaccurate information on a background report.  Sometimes the information is simply wrong - the background check contains someone's else's information.  Sometimes the information is inaccurate - the background check lists the wrong offense.  Sometimes the background check makes the offense sound worse than it was - it lists a felony, but it should list only a misdemeanor.

In most situations, there is no claim for defamation.  There may be, however, a claim under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.   When Congress enacted the Fair Credit Reporting Act, it "preempted" (i.e., disallowed) common law claims for defamation in most situations and instead allowed affected employees and applicants to pursue claims under the FCRA.

If a background check company ran a background report on you and included inaccurate information, you likely have rights to pursue under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.  If this has happened to you, contact the background check attorneys at The Weiner Law Firm for a free consultation about your rights.

About the Author

Andrew Weiner

Andrew Weiner has represented and counseled clients in numerous areas of employment law, including race, gender, national origin, age, and disability discrimination claims, wage and hour disputes, retaliation and harassment claims, Fair Credit Reporting Act (background report) claims, common law tort claims, the development and implementation of employment contracts, employee handbooks, personnel policies, reductions-in-force, independent contractor agreements and compliance with Title VII, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, and other federal, state and local employment statutes. Andrew also has negotiated severance agreements, employment contracts, non-compete agreements, and confidentiality agreements.


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