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First Advantage Corporation: Managing Background Check Errors

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First Advantage Corporation allegedly violates multiple regulations regarding background checks. This includes failure in report delivery and inaccuracies in reporting outdated information. 

Who is First Advantage Corporation 

Founded in 2003, First Advantage Corporation  is a global provider of background screening and identity solutions with their headquarters located in Atlanta, GA. Completing over 100 million screenings annually, First Advantage offers a wide array of services to meet various needs. For instance, employment background checks, tenant screening, and drug testing to assist businesses in making informed decisions about potential employees, tenants, and other individuals. 

Background Check Errors 

Consumer complaints about First Advantage Corporation primarily revolve around errors on their background checks. Many consumers have reported that the company includes outdated data and fails to verify critical details such as birth dates, leading to mismatched records. Additionally, there are frequent grievances about the company not providing individuals with their reports prior to taking adverse actions, thereby denying them the opportunity to dispute inaccuracies. 

Inaccurate Information 

First Advantage is allegedly reporting inaccurate information on their screenings without verifying it. Many times, mistakes are as a consequence of unthorough research with information belonging to a different person sharing the same name. A quick online search can often be the solution for resolving this issue. However, in accordance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), criminal records cannot match people’s records based on names alone, as names are far too common. The same goes for partial birth date information, such as the month and year as this does not provide enough information about someone’s identity. 

Outdated Information 

Consumer complaints against First Advantage Corporation frequently involve concerns over outdated information in their background checks. Many individuals have reported instances where the company includes old and irrelevant data in their reports, sometimes exceeding the seven-year limit set by laws in states such as North Carolina. This inclusion of outdated information can have significant consequences for individuals, impacting their job prospects and personal reputation unfairly. It also raises questions about the company’s compliance with the FCRA and other relevant regulations. Their purpose is to ensure that background check information is accurate, relevant, and fairly reflects an individual’s current circumstances. 

Report Delivery Failures 

Customers can request a copy of their background check reports according to the FCRA, there are complaints on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, reporting that they do not complete their requests. For example, one individual sent a request to First Advantage Corporation after not obtaining a copy of their report after being promised one. Despite assurances from customer service that the report would be emailed within a few days, the individual only received a request for address verification. After completing this verification, they are left without the password giving them access to the document. Repeated follow-up emails yielded no response, leaving the individual unable to access their report. Failure to provide reports in an accessible format deprives individuals of their right to review consumer reports under the FCRA. Furthermore, this underscores the broader issue of First Advantage’s report delivery failures. 

Laws Violated through First Advantage Corporation 

NC State Laws and Regulations on Background Checks 

In North Carolina, state law mandates that certain employers must conduct background checks on applicants. For state agencies, employers may complete background checks only after the applicant’s first interview. This gives the individual a chance to explain any potential situations surrounding convictions. Additionally, the “Ban the Box” law is in affect to provide more fair employment opportunities for individuals with prior convictions. This law only applies to state agencies, and it prohibits employers from asking about an applicant’s criminal history on initial job applications. 

Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) 

The  FCRA set the standards for background checks to ensure fairness, accuracy, and privacy in the information reported. Under the FCRA, companies that conduct background checks, known as Consumer Reporting Agencies (CRAs), require strict procedures to ensure that the data they provide is accurate and up to date. Based on FCRA mandates, individuals must be notified of background checks and must provide written consent. Furthermore, if any adverse action is taken from the information in the report, the individual must be informed and given the opportunity to dispute the inaccuracies. The FCRA also limits the type of information on reports. Such as restricting the inclusion of outdated information, like certain types of criminal records that are more than seven-years old. This law is crucial in protecting consumers from errors and ensuring that background checks are fair and transparent. 

Contact Us 

Has First Advantage Corporation or another background screening company violated your rights? Get in contact with a consumer protection attorney to correct errors and fight for your rights. Maginnis Howard has three conveniently located offices in Charlotte, Raleigh, and Fayetteville. To reach an intake specialist, visit our contact page or submit an inquiry through our Live Chat feature. You may also call us at (919) 526-0450. We accept clients across the Carolinas. 

Background Check FAQs 

How far back does a background check go in NC? 

In North Carolina, there is no limit on an applicant’s criminal history. However, they do comply with the FCRA, which limits the reporting of non-conviction information to seven years. 

What is included in an NC background check? 

There are several components that are included on a background check, a few of those include: 

Criminal History: This covers convictions and sometimes arrests, typically going back indefinitely for convictions and up to seven years for non-convictions under FCRA guidelines. 

Employment History: Details of past employment, positions held, and sometimes reasons for leaving. 

Education Verification: Verification of degrees obtained and attendance at educational institutions. 

Driving Records: Details of any traffic violations, license suspensions, or other driving-related incidents. 

How long does a background check take? 

Most background checks take between 1 to 7 business days, the time it takes can vary based on several factors, including the type of check or the service provider, with some specialized checks potentially taking longer. Delays can occur due to verification difficulties or the need for additional information.