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

UPDATED: Oct 29, 2015

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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


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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