Employment Screening Services Provider Settles Chargesof Violating Fair Credit Reporting Act
Oklahoma-based Company Agrees to Pay U.S. $2.6 Million Penalty
A company that marketed public records about consumers to employers making hiring decisions agreed to settle charges that it violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act and pay $2.6 million in civil penalties , the Justice Department announced.
In a complaint filed today, the United States alleged that HireRight Solutions Inc., an Oklahoma corporation based in Tulsa, Okla., violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) by failing to comply with FCRA provisions designed to ensure the accuracy of background reports about potential employees. HireRight combined public information, including court records, into profiles provided to thousands of employers considering consumers for jobs, primarily in the trucking industry. The complaint alleges that poor quality control led HireRight to include erroneous and duplicate information in its reports. The complaint also alleges that HireRight failed to provide consumers timely access to the information in their own files and did not appropriately conduct investigations of disputed items when requested.
“Inaccurate consumer reports can keep qualified applicants from finding work and keep employers from finding good employees,” said Stuart Delery, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division. “In this age of increased collection and distribution of consumer information, aggressive enforcement of the FCRA ensures that these reports contain facts, not mistakes.”
Along with the $2.6 million civil penalty, HireRight agreed to injunctions against future FCRA and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Act violations in a proposed consent decree filed with the complaint. The consent decree also requires HireRight to maintain reasonable procedures to ensure the accuracy of reports and, upon request, to provide consumers the information in their files, such as criminal history reports. Access to these reports ensures that the consumers can dispute erroneous criminal history information that would substantially interfere with their ability to obtain a job.
The FTC, which oversees the FCRA, referred the case to the Justice Department. The lawsuit, United States v. HireRight Solutions Inc., was filed in the District of the District of Columbia.
Acting Assistant Attorney General Delery thanked the Federal Trade Commission for referring this matter to the Department. The Consumer Protection Branch of the Justice Department’s Civil Division brought the case on behalf of the United States. Acting Assistant Attorney General Delery reminded consumers that they have a right to review the information collected by consumer reporting agencies and dispute incorrect entries. Consumers can report complaints to the FTC through the agency’s website at www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov.