Back Ground Investigation Question

Okay, so I work in HR (amongst other fields) and we order background checks for our employees. So I’m checking on our latest prospect and I get kind of curious about what my background check says.

So while I’m in the background check website (run by a different company then my own, if that matters), I pull up my file.

Only to discover that I have two red flags.

One is that the dates of my employment are off. It says I started at my prior place of work in July and left the following August. I put on my resume that I started in March and left the following July.

I can somewhat understand the difference in regards to the first three months - I was a temping for the company for those three months. So no problem - I update my resume with that information. As for working the extra month, I have no idea. It seems strange to me.

The second red flag is my job title. When I was hired at said company I was an AAII. 1/2 into my employment I got a promotion to an account lead. The HR representative at said company apparently said that I was only an AAII and never an account lead.

My question is, can I get into contact with the HR rep of this company to sort these things out - or is that against the law? I haven’t ever heard of anyone doing such a thing so I really don’t know - I suspect it’s not illegal.

Why would it be against the law to call a company and confirm/correct information they are putting out about you? You probably need to do it in person, however, as most companies won’t discuss such things over the phone.

Incomplete/incorrect data is extremely common. The company I work for as a security consultant does backgrounds for employers (who knows, maybe we’re doing it for yours :slight_smile: ). Lots of times dates don’t match what the last employer has compared to what the applicant wrote down. Temp work is a huge factor in this. Just plain old oversights is another.

I have records problem with my other job in law enforcement. Wisconsin has a central data base with info on all current law enforcement officers. Much of the info on me is either not there or wrong. My certification letter from the State Attorney General states that I graduated from the police academy more than 11 years after I actually did!!! They also have the wrong dates of employment for all 3 of the departments I’ve worked for over the past 25 years and are missing many of my records for education and specialized training I’ve received over the years. If I didn’t have the hard copies of these it could seem like I was lying if I put them down on a resume or job app…

Like I said, incorrect data on employees is common. I don’t see how it could be illegal to try to correct it.

I’m not in HR, but it doesn’t sound like anything to lose sleep over. Who says these are red flags? To me, they sound more like green with just a tinge of yellow on the edges.

A couple months’ difference on employment dates? Eh.

They have you listed as an AAII? Double-eh. Outside of that company, who’s going to know what an AAII is?

Now, if your file came up listing more serious and incorrect issues like “fired for cause” or courthouse records such as bankruptcy, arrests or convictions, that would be the time to worry.

I agree… differences in reported job titles have to be pretty common. Larger companies often tie those titles to specific pay grades, but what’s relevant for a resume is something that reflects what your job duties were. So rather than reporting that I was a Analyst-II, my resume says that I was a “software developer.”

Now, if my resume said “Vice President” and the background check said “Mail Clerk,” that’s a different story altogether.

But you work in HR… if I was applying for a job at your company and those two “red flags” came up on my background check, would I not get hired?

Isn’t there a rule against accessing your own information, or information about anyone that you are not checking as part of your employment? Files like these usually have a record as to who accesses them don’t they? I would be more worried about that.


What, exactly, do you mean by “rule”?

If you mean a policy established by an employer, that’s one thing.

If you actually mean “law”, that’s another.

Records kept on an individual by any state agency are almost always subject to open records laws.

If the OP went into the files of a private entity without permission, that is clearly another situation.