ADP Background Check Errors? We Help You Fight Back

Last Updated:
September 6, 2023

In today’s extremely competitive job market, background checks have become an essential component of the hiring process. Employers rely on these checks more every day, to screen potential employees and help ensure that the most suitable applicants are being hired. One of the most commonly used background check providers is ADP, known for its comprehensive and highly accurate background checks. However, even the most reliable and consistent background check services can make an error. 

If you’re facing the negative impacts of an ADP background check error, understanding your rights is critical to know what steps you need to take to fight back. We’re going to do a deep dive into what an ADP background check is, what common errors can occur, and what you can do about those errors. 

We’ll also look at how Fair Credit can help when you have no other choice but to take legal action to enforce your rights and clear your financial reputation. If you’re ready to learn how to protect your career, home, and financial future from the consequences of background check errors. 

What Is An ADP Background Check?

Automatic Data Processing, or ADP, is one of the global leaders in HR management solutions, including in-depth background checks. An ADP background check is an extensive screening process that provides employers with information relevant to an applicant’s stated employment history, education, criminal record, credit, and more. 

The main goal of any ADP background is to provide the information employers need to make informed hiring choices. They also help determine an applicant’s suitability for a specific position or role.

Components of an ADP Background Check

An ADP background check will be extensive, and will generally involve several different components, depending on the nature and scope of the job. Some of the most common elements of a background check include:

  • Employment Verification

The employment verification element verifies the employment history of the applicant, including dates of employment, job titles, and reasons for leaving.

  • Education Verification

This component confirms the educational background information that was provided during the application process, including verifying diplomas or degrees received.

  • Credit History Check

This part will assess the applicant’s financial responsibility by looking into their payment history, debt level, and even past bankruptcies.

  • Criminal Records Check

The applicant will be screened for criminal history such as convictions, pending cases, and other potential legal issues.

  • Reference Checks

During this part, the personal and professional references of the applicant will be contacted and interviewed to gain insights into their character work ethic, and professional skills and abilities.

  • License & Certification Verification

If the position requires professional licenses or other credentials, they will be investigated and verified to make sure they are valid and active.

  • Drug Screen

Some employers require drug testing as part of the background check process to enforce a drug-free workplace. 

ADP's Compliance with Legal Regulations

ADP ensures compliance with all applicable local, state, and federal laws that relate to background checks, including but not limited to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, or FCRA. The FCRA is a federal law that governs how consumer reporting agencies collect, use, or even share the information contained in your consumer credit file, including background check data.

 The FCRA grants consumers special protections and rights, such as the right to dispute inaccurate information, and the right to know if an adverse action is taken based on the information in the background check. While ADP is generally known for its accurate and comprehensive screening services, errors can and do still occur. Let’s take a look at some of the most common errors to appear.

Common ADP Background Check Errors

While ADP does strive to provide reliable and consistently accurate background check services, there are still errors that can occur due to various reasons, such as outdated information, mistaken or stolen identity, or general reporting inaccuracies. These errors can have a dramatic impact on your job prospects and overall reputation. Here are some of the most common ADP errors that you should be aware of and how they may happen to you:

  • Mistaken Identity

One of the most common error types in background checks is the misattribution of information due to similar consumer names, social security numbers, or other personal identifying information. This can lead to another consumer’s credit or criminal history being wrongly associated with your background check report. Mistaken identities can happen due to clerical errors, incomplete records, or intentional identity theft.

  • Outdated Information

Sometimes background checks will produce information that is either outdated or has been expunged. For example, your background report may show a debt that has since been paid or a conviction that has been formally expunged. 

  • Inaccurate Employment or Education

Background checks often produce errors in your employment or education histories, like incorrect dates, job titles, or entire degrees. This can happen when information is reported inaccurately by the employer or educational institution, or when applicant data is falsified.

  • Incomplete Criminal Records

Sometimes, a background check can include incomplete or misleading criminal records. Examples include convictions that fail to specify it was a minor offense. Incomplete criminal records can occur when information is not correctly updated in law enforcement databases or 

  • False Positive Drug Tests

When background checks include drug screenings, there is the potential for the screen to return a false positive result, due to various factors. Some things that can contribute to false positives include prescriptions, some over-the-counter drugs, or even certain foods. There is also the possibility of false positives due to cross-contamination, lab errors, or equipment malfunction.

  • Inaccurate Credit Information

Credit history errors can also occur in background checks, including incorrect account information, duplicate accounts, or unauthorized credit inquiries. These errors can result from entries or data created by credit bureaus, creditors & lenders, or even identity theft. 

  • Omitted Positive Information

While rare, there are also times when a background check will fail to include positive information that could help support or enhance your candidacy for a job. This can include accomplishments, awards, or other relevant professional achievements that show you are qualified for the position. This can happen when information is not correctly reported to ADP, or when it is inadvertently excluded.

The Consequences of Background Check Errors

Background check errors can have far-reaching consequences for anyone that is subjected to one. Job seekers, apartment seekers, and more can be dramatically affected by background check errors. Here are some of the potential consequences that you may face if your ADP background check contains errors:

  • Denied Job Opportunities

Inaccurate background check information can lead prospective employees to be denied job opportunities. This can happen when one employer misinterprets the information in your report or believes it disqualifies you for the position. This loss of employment opportunity can lead to financial hardships, extended unemployment, and damage to your professional reputation.

  • Loss of Current Employment

If your present employer conducts a background check and discovers inaccuracies, it could result in you facing disciplinary measures, including termination. This can be devastating for someone who has invested significant time or effort into their current position and has built a solid professional reputation.

  • Damage to Professional Reputation

Background check errors can tarnish your professional reputation, making it difficult to secure future job opportunities. In some industries, your reputation can’t simply be rebuilt, and the damage can follow you forever in that field. 

  • Emotional Distress

The consequences of background checks can take a significant emotional toll on an individual. The stress of losing out on jobs, facing financial instability or hardship, and dealing with a damaged professional reputation.

  • Reduced Earning Potential

Background check errors can lead to a limited earning potential since they can prevent you from securing more lucrative positions or advancing along your career path. This can have long-term implications for not only your finances but your quality of life as well.

  • Legal Implications

When background check errors are serious enough, they can even lead to legal consequences. This can stem from outstanding debts, false accusations of criminality, or other matters that can take time and money to resolve.

How to Identify and Dispute ADP Background Check Errors

Step 1: Request a Copy of Your Background Check Report

Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act of 1970, the FCRA, consumers have the right to obtain a free copy of their credit report, from each of the three bureaus, Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion, once every 12 months. If you believe there are errors in your ADP background check, your first step should be to get a copy of your most recent credit report from each of the bureaus. 

Once you have the reports, you’ll need to review them thoroughly for errors, inaccuracies, or typos. Each time you find a discrepancy, note it and highlight it. You will need to come back to these errors later when you need to gather information.

Step 2: Gather Supporting Documentation

Now that you’ve got your list of errors and inaccuracies, you’ll need to gather the documentation needed to support your position in your various disputes. These documents will often include things like:

  • Employment records, pay stubs, W2 forms, etc.
  • Educational transcripts, diplomas, certifications
  • Court records or police reports related to expunged or dismissed charges
  • Credit records or account statements that dispute credit history errors
  • Medical records or prescriptions that could help explain false-positives

Step 3: Notify ADP of the Errors

Once you’ve gathered all of the necessary documentation to support your assertions, you’ll need to notify ADP of the errors, in writing. Include a detailed explanation of the errors or inaccuracies, as well as copies of your documentation supporting your position. Retain copies of everything for your records. 

ADP is required by law to investigate your dispute within 30 days, and then provide you with the results of that investigation. If the errors are confirmed they must be corrected or removed, and ADP must notify any employer or other parties who have received the inaccurate report in the past two years.

Step 4: Follow Up with Employers

After the errors have been corrected, you will need to follow up with the employers who may have received that inaccurate background check report. Inform them of the corrected information and provide them with copies of any documentation they may need to back up your claims. 

While they may not be able to offer you the same position, it will help to restore your professional reputation, and it may open up your eligibility for other job opportunities that were previously unavailable.

Step 5: Monitor Your Background Check Information

After the dispute process is complete and the changes supposedly made, you’ll need to continue monitoring your background check information. Periodically request copies of your background check report and review them to ensure their accuracy. 

Not only will this help you catch new errors or inaccuracies, but it can even be an early warning sign of potential identity theft if you start to see inquiries and accounts that you aren’t familiar with. In some cases, however, you may need additional assistance to resolve these errors, which is when you reach out to a local credit attorney for help.

Trust Fair Credit To Help You Fight Back Against ADP Background Check Errors

Errors in your ADP background check can have devastating consequences for your housing status, job prospects, financial stability, and even your professional reputation. By understanding the most common error types and their potential impact, you can be more proactive in not only identifying but also disputing and clearing any inaccuracies in your background check report. 

Following the steps we outlined here will also help you to address these issues more effectively and start positive steps to protect your financial reputation and more.

When you’ve gone through all of the standard channels for resolution, but are still facing demonstrable challenges in getting these errors fixed or removed, Fair Credit is here to help. Our team of credit and background check experts can provide the guidance and support you need to take legal action to get your credit back. Reach out to Fair Credit today to start fighting back against inaccuracies.

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