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The Pitfalls of Using Background Reports In Truck Driver Recruiting

Trusting instant background reports without doing your own due diligence is a good way to lose great hiring opportunities and it can get you in trouble.

Anthony Pecora with the Sheffield Village, Ohio law firm of Stumphauzer, O’Toole recommends you consider the following facts when conducting background checks.

  • With more than 300,000,000 people living in the United States, someone out there has the same name as you. Not only do others have the same name, there is a good chance they also share the same birth date.
  • Add to this the current problem of identity theft, and you can have a real problem when it comes to background checks by prospective employers.
  • Major criminal background companies trafficking in the reputations of truck drivers often jeopardize employment opportunities by erroneously reporting applicants’ criminal and employment histories.

A Classic Example of False Reporting.
Pecora offers the example of a fictional trucker (“Terence M. Jones”) charged with a bogus domestic violence offense because his wife wanted the upper hand in a divorce: Through his attorney, Terrence successfully defends against the charges.  However, reporting agencies still report that Terrence was “convicted” of both the domestic violence felony and disturbing the peace.

Consider Your Own Legal Position Before Making Snap Decisions.
Today prospective employers receive criminal background reports and employment records instantaneously via the internet.  Many employers decide against hiring applicants without first providing them with notice that the decision was based on those reports.  Several days later, applicant may receive copies of their reports in the mail, which falsely details a criminal history. This alone violates federal law.

Always Provide Applicants With A Copy Of Negative Background Reports.
Federal law requires that applicants receive a copy of a negative criminal background report at the time it is provided to a prospective employer.  Further, employers must provide applicants with notice of intent to decline employment when the decision is based on a criminal background report.

Truck drivers are routinely subjected to violations of these laws by reporting companies and employers. Remedies lie within the federal court system, and can include statutory damages, lost wages, emotional distress, and attorneys’ fees.

Your Reputation Is Also On The Line.
Truckers talk. And if word gets around that you’ve declined applicants based on false information, you’ll have to spend a lot of time defending your own company’s good name.

Click on the following link to read the entire article, “Truckers Continue To Be Harmed By Inaccurate Background Reports”

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