Get a copy of your background check report when your employer or potential employer obtains a background check report on you.

In the current job market, most employers will obtain a criminal background check report (often called “consumer report”) on you through a background check company (often called “consumer reporting agency” or “CRA”) at some point in the hiring or employment review process.

Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, companies are required to use “reasonable procedures to assure maximum possible accuracy.” This generally means that the report must be accurate. However, background check reports often have errors.

You can get a copy of your background check report by “checking the box”.

Employers or prospective employers are required to get your written consent before they obtain a background check report. In most consent forms, there is a box for you to check to obtain a copy of your report around the same time or within a few days of when the employer receives your report. Always check this box so you know what is being reported about you. If you do not see a check box, call the background check company (their name and phone number should be on the form) to receive a copy.

Know what information should generally NOT be on your background check report. 

  • Mismatched people (i.e. someone else’s record being reported on your report).

  • Incomplete information about a case (i.e. missing name of the charge).

  • Arrests that did not lead to conviction cannot be reported at all in California. Arrests older than 7 years cannot be reported in most other states.

  • Crimes that have been expunged or sealed.

  • Misleading information. (i.e. a single charge reported multiple times)

  • Adverse driving history that are older than 7 years.

  • Misclassified offenses. (i.e. misdemeanor reported as felony)

  • Arrests for which you have successfully completed diversion.

  • Certain minor marijuana arrests that are older than 2 years.

  • Convictions that are older than 7 years. California only (except for Uber/Lyft positions).

Keep in mind that according to experts, criminal background check screening companies routinely make errors in background check reports.

According to the National Consumer Law Center, criminal background screening companies routinely make errors such as the following:

  • Mismatched people: A person with no criminal record may be mismatched with a person who has a record and consequently, the background check report for a person with no criminal record indicates a record. Experts say that this may be more common for people with common names. See NBC’s Jeff Rossen’s Article. errors/#.U_KLqfldUWA.

  • Omit crucial information about a case. The background check report may indicate an arrest record for someone who was later found to be innocent.

  • Reveal sealed or expunged information.

  • Provide misleading information. The background check report may list a single charge multiple times which may cause the employer to believe that the job applicant or employee had multiple charges.

  • Misclassify offenses.

Review your background check report and determine if there are mistakes, errors, inaccuracies or other information that should not be in your background check report.

We can help you dispute mistakes or errors in your background check report and help you recover damages for any loss suffered due to an erroneous background check report.

In California, if your report contains any of the errors described above, you may be entitled to compensation of $10,000 or more.


This website is an advertisement. The information on this website does not constitute legal advice but provides general information. We do not seek to represent anyone based solely on a visit to this web site. The attorney client relationship is established only after you and a DHF Law attorney enter into a written agreement. Our office is based in the County of Los Angeles and we practice throughout California. We do not provide guarantees, warranties, or predictions regarding the result of the representation.