HireRight, which the trucking industry knows for its DAC driver screening services, has agreed to pay $2.6 million to settle charges that it did not take adequate steps to verify the accuracy of criminal background checks as required by the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
The civil penalty is the second largest obtained by the Federal Trade Commission for violations of the law that governs use of consumer information, including data gathered to determine job eligibility. HireRight settled on Aug. 8, the same day the complaint was filed. The company did not admit to wrongdoing.
HireRight combined public information, including court records, into profiles provided to thousands of employers considering consumers for jobs, primarily in the trucking industry. Drivers for years have complained about inaccurate information in their DAC reports keeping them from getting a job.
The Justice Department alleged that poor quality control led HireRight to include erroneous and duplicate information in its reports. The FTC said HireRight sometimes included criminal offenses that had been expunged, or reported the same offense multiple times in a report, according to the Washington Post.. The FTC also alleged that the company sometimes reported the wrong information or had the wrong person.
In addition, the complaint 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.
Along with the $2.6 million civil penalty, a proposed 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.
"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 a statement. "In this age of increased collection and distribution of consumer information, aggressive enforcement of the FCRA ensures that these reports contain facts, not mistakes."