Where HireRight Solutions went wrong

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Most job seekers are familiar with the basics:  Wear a clean shirt, extend a firm handshake, and don’t ask about vacations in the first 10 minutes of the interview.  But these days more businesses are digging deeper.  Tulsa-based HireRight Solutions is a background screening company that thousands of employers use to check out current employees and people applying for jobs.  When it comes to Fair Credit Reporting Act compliance, the FTC says HireRight Solutions got it wrong by not using reasonable procedures to ensure the accuracy of the information it was selling. The upshot: a $2.6 million civil penalty, the second-largest ever in an FTC FCRA case.

The background screening reports that HireRight Solutions sells are “consumer reports” under the FCRA.  How so?  We’re leaving out some of the legalese, but the short answer is that they include information "bearing on a consumer’s credit worthiness, credit standing, credit capacity, character, general reputation, personal characteristics, or mode of living which is used or expected to be used or collected in whole or in part for the purpose of serving as a factor in establishing the consumer’s eligibility” for credit, insurance, employment, or other purposes authorized under the FCRA. (Yes, that’s the short answer.)

Companies that sell or provide those reports are “consumer reporting agencies” under the statute.  (Just as an aside, the law uses the word “agency,” but these are private companies we’re talking about — not agencies like government agencies.)  Under the FCRA, consumer reporting agencies have a legal obligation to follow reasonable procedures to assure the maximum possible accuracy of the information the reports contain.  That's where the FTC says HireRight Solutions didn’t get it right.

According to the complaint, the company didn’t take reasonable steps to make sure the info in the reports was current and reflected updates, like the expungement of criminal records.  The FTC says that sometimes the reports included multiple entries for the same offense.  What's more, some reports listed convictions for people other than the applicant or employee — even though the person with the criminal record had a different middle name or date of birth.  If a tomato soup stain on a tie can torpedo a job applicant’s chances, imagine the effect of a wrongly reported rap sheet.

But the violations didn’t end there.  The FCRA gives people the right to know about information reported to potential employers and sets up mandatory procedures people can use to challenge information they believe is inaccurate.  According to the complaint, the company failed to live up to the FCRA’s requirements that it turn over files to people who ask for them, didn’t conduct a reasonable investigation when people disputed the accuracy of information, and didn’t give people written notice of the results of investigations.  For example, the FTC alleges that HireRight Solutions had a big backlog because it didn’t hire enough staff to respond to people’s concerns about inaccuracies.  The complaint also charges that the company set up unreasonable hoops people had to jump through to exercise their rights under the FCRA.

In addition, the FCRA has special requirements for consumer reporting agencies when their reports contain public record information that’s used for employment purposes.  If that info is likely to have an adverse effect on a person’s ability to get a job, the law gives companies like HireRight Solutions two choices: 1) notify the person anytime public record information is being reported; or 2) maintain “strict procedures” designed to ensure that reported public record data is complete and up to date.  The complaint charges that HireRight Solutions had a system in place for notifying people, but it was too clunky to be of much practical use.  The FTC also charged that the company didn’t maintain the strict procedures the law requires.  In addition to the $2.6 million penalty, the stipulated order puts provisions in place to change how HireRight Solutions does business going forward.

Interested in a refresher on the dos and don'ts of using reports in the hiring process?  Read Using Consumer Reports: What Employers Need to Know, available on the BCP Business Center's Credit Reporting page.  We also have information especially for your HR team.

If you're looking for a job, learn more about your rights under the FCRA by reading Employment Background Checks and Credit Reports and watching a new video from the FTC:

Comments

I was recently offered a job at USAA which I was thrilled about. I have extensive knowledge within the customer service arena and I'm a former military spouse of 27 years. Since providing all the documents to HireRight they have denied my High School education which was completed in the United Kingdom. I have also provided them a letter from the school stating I left at the legal age of 16, but because it does not state I graduated they will not except it. I'm so disappointed, but I will continue to fight until I get hired with USAA.

Back in February of this year I was offered a wonderful position with a company who I will not name that used hireright as their go to source for background checks. Now I do have a criminal record but the crime that I committed was over ten years old, and hire right did not find that particular charge on my back ground check but in fact stated to the employer that I had an outstanding warrant for my arrest from 2004 which in fact was false. I in fact did not get the position for the job because of that .

I just landed a service desk technician job with Western Governors University. Turns out they use Hireright I currently have my two weeks in at my current job. I filled out the background verification form. A few days later, on a friday, before they close for the weekend they send me a message saying they need additional info. Apparently my background check was on hold because they had not gotten a response from my references. I thought this was a little odd. Never seen anything like it. They want me to somehow fix this and alternate references are not acceptable they say. So i start reading the reviews. It is unbelievable. There is nothing but negative reviews. Almost no one has anything positive to say. Background verification companies should be able to pull most of your info out of online databases or from public record electronically. What kind of company asks for ancient pay stubs, w2s, tax transcripts, 1099s, ssn over insecure email. What kind of company makes the kind of mistakes i am seeing reported. This type of stuff ruins peoples lives.The kind of company that runs its back offices in third world countries overseas. The kind of company that does not care. I pray to god that i do not lost my job offer thanks to these scum.

government agency telling a private company what they're doing wrong. that's funny.

HireRight and it’s trucking industry “members” are breaking FMCSA regulations every day. DOT spends mass amounts of time enforcing these regulations on drivers when their focus needs to be on these companies who break these regulations repeatedly. It clearly states that a driver is to list its previous employers. One does not become an employee, just because someone offered them a position. It takes both parties to become in agreement of offer in order for that offer to become binding. Preemployment screening is a process that tests a prospective applicant before an extended offer can bound. Orientations or Interviews are a process that a prospective applicant looks into the company to determine if they want to work for that company. Any information that is gathered in that process should not be used against the applicant if they refuse the offer. Thanks to Barack Obama and the MAP 21 order, he basically granted funding for infrastructure repair with the negotiating chip being money for the addition of regulation or “control” over the states. CDL Drivers now have introduced into a new world of forfeiture of rights. Example of this was recently apparent with the arrest of the nurse in Salt Lake City, Utah.
You CDL holders out there, place close attention to what I have just mentioned. Our government is growing more and more of control, even over individual states. Generation after generation, it is gaining more and more, walking sheep straight towards slaughter. Sheep that once said, “well if letting the government monitor my phone, protects us from terrorist attacks, I’m ok with that” or “running ELD’S is good so companies can’t make me run if I’m tired” or “the government should take that mans land because he never paid for his grazing rights to the government” or “yea I should have to pay equifax 35$ a month to watch my credit because of a data breach they allowed to happen, and release data for information, I never asked them to store anyway”
Good folks who read this better pay attention! They are fooling the heards into believing they need protection from the wolf, when it’s them that is scaring the beards at night with a wolf costume!
This is true psychological terrorism. It’s happening as we speak.

First, let me say that HireRight is focused on the bean count. I didn't receive the first e-mail (at 9:36pm) from HireRight until 2 days AFTER my new employer's onboarding dashboard reflected that it had been requested. When I received the first email from HireRight, "REMINDER" was in the subject line, indicating that this wasn't the first email. This was done just to show my employer that I was not responsive to a previous request...sneaky. Since I've been operating as an S Corporation providing services to a single customer for the past 15 years, I listed myself as point of contact. So, the next day someone who could barely speak english called and I went through the interview and answered all of the questions. At the end of the conversation, I got a "thank you very much" and a quick phone hang up from "Ursula" so I figured I'm good to go. WRONG! So I check the HireRight Applicant Center and I see that they're still asking for W2s, 1099s, or pay stubs, which I don't have because they're in storage 500 miles from here. If I hadn't checked the HireRight site, I wouldn't have known this because I received no correspondence notifying me, AND my onboarding dashboard with my future employer shows the background check complete.

Good luck if you expect HireRight to verify your employment if you have worked as an S Corporation for a single customer for the past 15 years and you can't access your "W2s, 1099s, or pay stubs" because you have no e-copies and they're in storage 500 miles away. I've offered them e-copies of 15 years of contracts and invoices between my company and a single customer showing the contracts were for my "continuous, uninterrupted services..." but they can't accept it. So, I'm supposed to start my new job in 3 days.

I did background check with Hireright. For Mgm grand job and they said my driver. License was suspended , and I got a copy of dmw driving record everything came out good . Lost a job opportunity cuz of them they made up stuff that’s not true

My wife graduated from University two months ago. Couple weeks ago she received a job offer. Unfortunately hiring company is using Hireright. They just told my wife that they cannot verify her education... WHAT? an investigative company cannot verify real and recent education? how are they still in business?

These comments are making me very nervous! I have already turned down one offer and accepted another only to find that they are using HireRight. I was already nervous as the background check was taking longer than I expected, especially for someone with no records and proven documentation that I received a Diploma.

All of these comments sound familiar.

My first experience with HireRight was bad and my start date was pushed out due to clerical errors and a lack of logical thinking. HireRight said that they had verified I had a degree like I reported, but said that I provided false information. They said I received my degree before I was born. I tried explaining to a customer service rep (who did not speak English well enough to understand me) that this was impossible. They insisted I provided bad info. I disputed, sent certified transcripts, I finally “passed” and started my job 2 weeks late.

I’m currently in the process of yet another HireRight check with a different company. It’s off to a bad start. One of my former coampny’s uses ADP for employment verification. I got an email yesterday morning from ADP saying a employment verification had been requested. Cool, I thought. Maybe this will all wrap up quicker then I hoped. Nope! I hadn’t heard a peep form HireRight, but I logged in to the dashboard anyway. Well what do you know, they say they couldn’t verify my employment. So now, despite that ADP already verified my employment, I have had to spend time pulling old W-2’s, call the owner of my previous company to get old pay stubs (ADP only makes pay stubs available for 2 years, I needed a stub form 2 years and 1 day....), and then spend time redacting pay and SSN info from it.

What they hell is HireRighy being paid for!?!

I turned down two offers to take a contract from a great company. I was put on hold for two months waiting to pass the screening. Then I was told that I did not pass the screening and the contract was rescinded. It was totally unexpected because previously I was endorsed by a UK screening company, UK Financial Conduct Authority and the UK Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs. I was not provided with a reason at least. While I checked with the former employers, the references were provided, so I could only guess what could be the reason. It looks like that could pop-up as an issue with the credit check because I don't have any credits at all.

The HireRight while contacted the former employers for references they did not mention the fact that they want to obtain the reference for me. Therefore some former employers were thinking that was a cold call and headhunting spam because they did not clearly stated that they are contacting to obtain the reference for me. The former employer stated that the HireRight are very unprofessional during the contact with them. It was a harrowing experience with this company of whose employees do not have logical thinking. They are confusing people by showing problems, where there are no problems, per instance with the credit check, were people don't have any credits there is a high probability to fail the screening, notwithstanding that there are no credits and no issues. They should not be allowed to play with the peoples' life and mistreat the people by providing inaccurate data and showing problems where there are not.

Slop company. Claimed they couldn't contact my current and prior employer so asked for invasive documents. They get paid but don't want to do their job! Everyone who has a bad experience with this company needs to file a complaint. https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/FTC_Wizard.aspx?lang=en

Hire Right does not understand GDPR requirements which went into effect on May 25. They attempted to call my daughter's European University for proof of enrollment which violates GDPR. They told the perspective employer that the University could not find her in the system. They neglected to say that they are not legally able to obtain that information without my daughter's consent. And as for owning a person's data. That is also a violation of GDPR.

This is my first experience with HireRight. After several days I logged into the system to check on the status and there was a new update that I needed to provide W2's from a certain year. I have provided 7 years of W2's and double checked that year was included. I called the company and had to point out that that was included, gave them the image number and they then finally cleared it.
The next day I called to see when everything would be complete. They mentioned they are looking to confirm my HS diploma. I included that in the documents and had them look for it. They said they had to call the school. In my application I noted that the school is closed, and has been for many years, the building doesn't exist. The person on the phone said that they had called the school and were waiting for a call back. I told them that is impossible, the school closed 20 years ago, there is no building to call and it is not part of a larger school system - it was a small private school and I had sent them the copy of my diploma. I just hung up the phone and truly have ZERO confidence in this company. They do not seem to know what they are doing. They are creating problems that don't exist. #frustrated

All these horrific reviews.. I am going thru the same issues with HireRight. I just recently within the last few months, completed and received a C6 Government clearance for my current position (took about 8 months to do). I thought this background check should be a breeze. I submitted all my information and that night, checked the site. It said that the dates for one on my past employers did not match what I had put down. they showed I was still working there. I had been gone for almost 3 years now and had a few other jobs. the next morning, I called the HR number for the company, and sent them an email asking for the information, and had it within 10 minutes. I uploaded that to the site as proof. I hope that they accept it, because I am not sending them any W2's or paystubs like they requested. These do not have any information that would confirm my dates of employment any way and I cant understand why they would ask for it. I had it resolved in under 15 min, and I am not sure why they could not have done the same thing. I am supposed to start my new position on Monday, so I hope it all goes well and they actually do the job they are paid to do and do not have me do it all for them.

HireRight was hired to conduct a random drug test for my employer. My Supervisor went with me and a Nurse was present. I provided the specimen and within a week HireRight informs my employer that they were unable to get an accuracy for negative or positive so they put me down for refusal to test - which is incorrect. A second test was done using the same specimen and of course they came back with the same results. My employer terminated me due to this and put that I violated company policies. I'm in in Army National Guard and have never had a problem with testing and wouldn't risk my job or being in the service. This is so wrong that this company can destroy people lives and get away with it.

You can report your experience to the FTC at FTC.gov/Complaint. The information you provide goes into a secure database that the FTC and other law enforcement agencies use for investigations.

Terrifying. I'm awaiting an employment offer from a company and reading all of this has me so discouraged. I am going through a process with HireRight right now where they can't verify my schooling and several places of employment, and they want an inordinate amount of documentation and legwork on my end to prove my employment and education. I've lost so much of my personal time trying to resolve this only to find more issues and problems present, and I'm done spending hours each day trying to resolve several problems that any other background check agency would know how to resolve themselves. The client trying to hire me may lose me as a candidate due to HireRight's asinine verification process which they are very poor at performing themselves.

Customer service is also a joke, I have had to educate one of the CSRs about how timezones work, and got in an argument with the same CSR about how the school is unreachable after a certain time or the day. They also lacked empathy and treated me like a robot. It's been really hard to maintain professionalism talking to these people. I've worked in call centers for most of my professional career, so I can understand quite well that HireRight's call centers have some very serious deficiencies that are causing problems for prospective employees all across the board.

I've also discovered that for one of the employers they couldn't verify my employment with, the verification method of a telephone number I had provided had not even been attempted. This was disclosed by a CSR! Before this was disclosed, HireRight nformed me a week prior that they failed to verify my employment with the prior employer with the contact method I had provided.

For some out there, their lives are riding on a job offer pending HireRight's mercy with their ridiculous verification methods and lack of competency. I'm not in that boat as I have plenty of other employers and staffing agencies interested in providing me work, but for those who are waiting on their dream job or a miracle so they do not have to endure financial woes, this is so wrong, and the FTC should be conducting another investigation into this organization.

The next time I find out a company I'm looking to work for uses HireRight as a background screening process, I will not continue seeking employment with said employer. I would rather reject a job opportunity than to endure this ridiculousness ever again.

I urge the FTC to look into HireRight again because they clearly have found other ways that are affecting employees from receiving a job. I'm also concerned if I am hired what will happen after I am brought on with the company.

To report problems with a company, go to www.FTC.gov/Complaint. The information you give goes into a secure database that the FTC and other law enforcement agencies use for investigations.

The comments you put here on the blog don't go into the secure enforcement database.

hireright notified my new employer that my education level did not match the degree they were seeking, when my degree plainly contains similar classwork.

I LIVED IN OKLAHOMA WHERE HIRE WRONG IS LOCATED TULSA LET ME TELL YOU I HATE THAT STATE I HAVE HAD NOTHING BUT TROUBLE FROM THE LAW AND ALL THE OTHER CRAP IN THAT GOD FORSAKEN PLACE! I HATE YOU OKLAHOMA

HireRight sent a report back to a company that I have a tentative offer on stating that they haven't been able to complete my employment verification. I provided all the contact information to them, but then received requests for redacted paystubs/W-2s in regards to two previous employers. I provided them my redacted W-2s on the same date they requested it. This is holding up me starting the new position and if they don't fix it, then I will lose this job opportunity. The employer's recruiter told me to call them; however, I haven't been able to get a hold of anyone as of yet to figure out what the issue is in regards to my employment verification.

I received a job offer and was to start with a worldwide firm in 1 day. HireRight replied that I needed validation of a prior 1099 position after 6pm on a Friday. I provided them with all my available info (1099's, screenshots of all my account info with the firm, my photo ID card, emails from the company, etc, etc). They rejected the materials I sent. On Monday morning I submitted both an email from the firm, and a letter on corporate letterhead validating that I was still engaged as a 1099 representative, had been there for 5 years, and was still active. At the end of the day, my new employer advised me that my background check was incomplete, and I cannot start the position. I incurred huge costs to obtain the business equipment, data services, and materials for this new job. I also have been out of work and could ill afford to buy equipment, data plans, etc. How can a background firm, that has written proof of a position, not fulfill their obligations and clear my background. As far as I know, this was the one single item that was outstanding, all my other checks cleared (as there were no additional demands for info or issues with my background other than this). It is truly destructive to be at the mercy of a firm who cannot confirm the simplest of documents (both written letter and email) validating what is in question.

Will Hire right background check shows up sealed criminal cases as well? Please help me any one

I was recently offered a position, Hire Right reported inaccurate information (seriously damaging, false information), I have disputed the report, made numerous phone calls and chased down all records concerning the false information. I personally contacted the state DMV twice and the Municipal Courts to verify a clerical error, there wasn't any clerical errors. Hire Right investigators falsified findings.
I most likely will not get the position based on what was reported to the hiring company.

I have committed to begin company training two days from now. HireRight is contacting me attempting to "get permission" to run a back ground check. To my knowledge, permission is only needed to run my credit. I did not give them any permission, in fact, I called them and asked what they needed, how long would they keep my information, and what is the limit of what they were allowed to do with my information. Each question was evaded. I found their standard contract online. They will keep any information I give them for a minimum of five years. What is the Maximum? They will reserve the right to continuously gather information on me in all forms for ... no time limit. They expect me to give them the rights to all of my privacy in every area of life for the rest of my life. What do I get in return? I will go in tomorrow, before training begins. I will show HR all these things that you have said, and what I have found. I will offer to work for them per the job offer as is stated. If they require that I must satisfy HireRight as a condition of employment, then I will be willing to sell them my information and my rights. Make me an offer, what is your future worth?

After reading all the comments on both of the FTC pages there should be no question that the FTC must intervene especially when it is obvious that Hire Right continues to blatantly ruin peoples lives with inaccurate and false information. They obviously have no intention of improving their destructive business practices and it appears that they are motivated to do just the opposite. They will continue to report false information until they are forced out of business by the government, which is not very likely. They also have significant monetary motivation to collect and retain as much information as possible, even if the information is not required to complete these checks, even if they should not have a legal right to collect, retain, or distribute such information.

They are THE WORST! Seriously, I get emails from them contradicting what the HR person says and also what their own customer service says. They even had the nerve to send me an email to me using someone else's first name? What a mess! They should NOT be in business.

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