Will traffic charges like speeding tickets show up on a background check?

Many employers seek information about driving history when they are running a background check on a job applicant. Background check companies (or “consumer reporting agencies”) can report information about your driving history for up to seven years. Whether a background check company can report your driving history beyond seven years depends on whether the incidents in your driving history are considered criminal or non-criminal under the laws of your state. In many states, minor driving infractions, such as speeding or non-moving violations, are not criminal in nature and cannot be reported beyond seven years. Different states refer to non-criminal incidents in different ways. Some of the terms used to refer to non-criminal incidents are: summary violations, infractions, non-moving violations, ordinance violations, and summary offenses.

Just because a consumer reporting agency can report information about your driving history, that does not mean that an employer is entitled to rely on that information to disqualify you from employment. Many states, including Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, Washington, and Wisconsin have statutes that forbid employers from discriminating on the basis of criminal background information.

Your Rights to Correct Information

You also have a right to have all information in your background check to be accurate. If a consumer reporting agency is reporting a traffic offense as a misdemeanor, when in reality it is non-criminal or is a lower offense grade, you may have a claim for money damages. You may also be able to ask the consumer reporting agency to reinvestigate your report and correct its error.

The lawyers at Berger & Montague, P.C. believe consumer and credit reporting agencies must be held accountable when they make mistakes in consumer reports. The lawyers at Berger & Montague have litigated numerous class action cases in which consumer reporting agencies were held accountable for including improper information on background checks, including, among others, Ernst v. DISH Network, LLC, Sterling Infosystems, Inc., No. 12-cv-8794 (S.D.N.Y.) (settled for $4.75 million with consumer reporting agency defendant); Haley v. TalentWise, Inc., No. 13-cv-1915 (W.D. Wash.) (settled for $1.5 million with consumer reporting agency defendant); and Avila v. NOW Health Grp., Inc., Argus Services, Inc., No. 14-cv-1551 (N.D. Ill.) (settled for $170 per class member with consumer reporting agency defendant).

Contact us now if you need help correcting false or misleading background information.

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