Q: We're my rights violated under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and if so do I have any recourse?
I consented to a consumer report background check at my employer when up for promotion. An old active arrest warrant was discovered on the check. The employer did not notify me of the issue directly and instead contacted local law enforcement who then came looking for me. I do not believe the employer (who is now my former) complied with the FCRA in doing this. I am entitled to be made aware of any adverse action taken against me pursuant to the FCRA and further, I am entitled to receive a copy of the report for disputing purposes. They have yet to provide me a copy of the report so I can either confirm or deny the information. I believe the warrant may belong to a family member of mine with the same name. I had to leave my residence because law enforcement was harassing my family in question to this, and I'm planning to hire an attorney to look into these maatters. State is Wisconsin. Thank you!
A: The situation you have shared is very concerning and may very well be a violation of employment background check compliance (such as through the Fair Credit Reporting Act) as well as a number of related obligations imposed on employers who order criminal history information reports from third parties. If your specific scenario involves mistaken identity (or identity theft), then you may have grounds for bringing several causes of action. It would also help to know what kind of arrest there was an active warrant for (felony versus misdemeanor) as well as the kind of employment involved because there are some businesses/agencies who have a mandatory duty to report certain crimes. Without knowing this, anyone providing you with an concrete answer will have to do a full evaluation of your civil, consumer, and employment rights. Please also keep in mind that employment background check litigation can be extremely complex given the issues involved and that it would be best to have your case checked by an attorney that can spot these intricate issues.
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