Melissa is a mother of 2, lives in Utah, and writes for a multitude of sites. She is currently the EIC of HarcourtHealth.com and writes about health, wellness, and business topics.

Laws are in place that determine what a prospective employer can and can’t do when they check people‘s background before offering them a job. However, those laws are often vague at best, and this means there is some discretion to be taken. And, unfortunately, some employers truly cross the limit with what is and isn’t fair.

What to Do if Employers Check People’s Background and Discriminate

There are a number of things that you can do if you have found an employer discriminated against you because they checked your background. In fact, you may even be able to take legal action against them. This is covered under the Defamation Act, the ADA, the FBA, and the FCRA. However, if you are looking for work, it is likely that you won’t be able to afford taking legal action. Thankfully, there are other things that you can do as well.

Try, if you can, to find out which background check provider they used to find your information. Look that company up on Google to find out just how reputable they actually are. The BBB is another very good source to consider. It is highly possible that the background check company runs a scam, which must be highlighted. In fact, highlight that to the employer who turned you down and they may be able to get a refund and review your application once more.

On the other hand, the company they used may have been very good. They may officially check your military records, your educational background, your DUI and driving records, and your criminal records. If something was found on those records, which are fully public, then it is possible that the employer made the correct decision. That said, they should have made it very clear beforehand if there are issues on a background that would lead them to withdraw their offer of a job. The exception is if you are a convicted felon and have applied for a licensed profession, as this is never allowed.

A background check is an opportunity for an employer to determine whether you are someone that they feel will fit into their overall company culture, which is fair. Sometimes, however, mistakes are made with those checks and it may look as if you had involvement in something that wasn’t your fault. For instance, an employer may check arrest records, but those records do not show the outcome of a crime. If they base their decision on that, you will have reason to appeal.

It is recommended, therefore, that you run a background check on yourself. You need to know what is out there about you and whether those details are correct or not. Unfortunately, the smallest mistake, and particularly one that is reported incorrectly, could make it very difficult for you to find not just employment, but also education and housing. Should this happen, then you must consider taking legal action to once again restore your good name.