Amazon Background Check Errors? We Help You Fight Back

Last Updated:
April 7, 2023

Amazon is a major employer these days. Whether you want to be a driver, supply chain specialist, or fulfillment worker, you might want to start your career at Amazon due to the wealth of employment possibilities available to you.

There’s just one hurdle: you need to pass an Amazon background check before you can receive a job offer. But what happens if the Amazon background check comes back with one or more errors or false information? Today, let’s break down what to do if you encounter an Amazon background check error and how to contact legal professionals for help.

Amazon Background Checks Explained

Like practically every major employer, Amazon performs background checks on prospective employees and current employees alike.

When you apply for a job at Amazon, you have to supply that company with a variety of personal information, like your work history, your resume, and much more. Amazon then takes that information and investigates it to make sure it’s all accurate and truthful.

If your background check checks out, Amazon may offer you a job. In addition, Amazon sometimes performs background checks on current employees as a means of ensuring that its workforce is staffed with credentialed, trustworthy individuals. 

Who Performs Amazon Background Checks?

Amazon doesn't perform its own background checks. Instead, it uses third-party background check agencies, the most common of which is called Accurate Background.

Accurate provides background check services to a variety of organizations, including Fortune 500 companies. It originally began in 1977, and it has since expanded into international screening, drug testing, and health screening services. Its other clients include Ross, Sephora, and Cheesecake Factory.

In essence, Accurate is the agency that Amazon outsources its background check work to. Accurate does the investigation, then tells Amazon what it found one way or the other.

Accurate’s background checks investigate a lot of different types of information for job candidates and current workers alike. This information includes:

  • Checks for job candidates on the sex offender registry and the terrorist Global Watchlist 
  • Civil checks at the county and federal levels
  • Criminal background checks at the county, state, national, and federal levels
  • Driving record checks, including checks for DUI convictions and speeding tickets
  • Employment and education checks both nationally and internationally
  • Personal and professional reference checks
  • Credit checks, including checks into an individual’s credit reports from each three major bureaus 
  • Social Security number tracing to minimize the likelihood of identity theft
  • Drug screening checks

Accurate offers different information for each client depending on what the client desires. Most Amazon background checks are fairly comprehensive, including screenings for all of the above information points.

What’s Amazon Flex?

Amazon Flex is a program by which you can work for Amazon as a third-party, quasi-independent driver. In a nutshell, you distribute Amazon packages to customers while using your personal vehicle. In this way, you don't have to worry about interacting with too many people or wearing an Amazon uniform; you can still earn a paycheck and participate in the Amazon economy from the comfort of your own car.

Since Amazon Flex workers are technically independent contractors, do they also have to go through background checks? Yes. In fact, Amazon Flex workers have to go through the same background checks as other Amazon workers. The background checks are even sourced through the same third-party company: Accurate.

However, Amazon Flex background checks may only involve looking at a few pieces of personal information, like a job applicant’s driving records and criminal history records. Other records, such as credit scores and credit reports, might be ignored since they don’t matter for the job and its likely duties. Amazon Flex background checks sometimes take less time than other Amazon background checks as a result.

What Happens if Amazon Makes a Background Check Mistake?

Unfortunately, Amazon – or, more precisely, Accurate – can and does make background check mistakes from time to time.

For example, a background check agent may confuse your identity with another person. If you and the other person have a similar name, they may ascribe the second individual's criminal activity to you, reporting this individual to Amazon and costing you a job offer.

Indeed, if Amazon makes a background check mistake, it could lead to a wide range of consequences that can be very severe.

For instance, you may lose out on a job offer even if you were completely qualified for it beforehand. This can lengthen your job search and put your finances in jeopardy.

Furthermore, if Amazon runs a background check on you after you have been hired, a background check error can cost you a job and result in your firing if the background check returns particularly damaging information, like false criminal activity convictions.

Speaking of criminal activity convictions, background check mistakes can tarnish your reputation and make it more difficult for you to acquire employment elsewhere. Because these damages can be so severe and long-lasting, Amazon background check mistakes are oftentimes grounds for legal action.

Why Do Amazon Background Check Errors Occur?

Amazon background check errors can occur for many different reasons, ranging from human error to laziness to more.

However, some Amazon background check errors occur not because of Accurate or Amazon themselves. They might occur because of a mistake that happened long before your background check actually began.

For instance, if a credit furnisher, such as a utility company or lender, provides the credit bureaus with inaccurate credit data, such as a debt that you already paid off, that information might make its way back to Accurate and compromise your job search. But it’s not Accurate’s fault – instead, it’s the fault of the credit bureaus and/or credit furnishers.

Because the fault for an Amazon background check error can vary, it's a good idea to speak to knowledgeable legal representatives who can help you understand the entire process and identify inaccurate information ASAP.

Common Amazon Background Check Mistakes

Amazon background check mistakes are different for each individual, but some of the most common causes of inaccurate info showing up on a background check report include:

  • A background check agent making a search, copy, or filing mistake
  • File corruption in Accurate’s computer systems
  • Providing Amazon with outdated or duplicate and negative information
  • Confusing your identity with that of another person
  • Providing Amazon with background information with typos, like number transpositions
  • Providing Amazon with wrong or incomplete data in original identifying documents, like your credit report

Any of these errors can cause the ramifications mentioned above. Say that you’re looking to get a promotion at your Amazon fulfillment facility. Everything looks good, until the background check comes through.

The background check says that you took out a massive loan and are in significant debt. Management looks at this information and decides not to offer you the promotion because they don’t want to promote someone who may face bankruptcy in the near future.

You know that you did not take out that debt, but the background check report has inaccurate information anyway. This is just one hypothetical example of how a common Amazon background check mistake can compromise your professional progress.

Your Rights After an Amazon Background Check Error

The Fair Credit Reporting Act or FCRA provides all American consumers with certain key rights. These are rights that you should exercise and take advantage of, especially with knowledgeable legal experts on your side.

Receive an Adverse Action Letter

Under the terms of the FCRA, all consumers who are denied a financial or job opportunity, like a loan, job offer, and so on, are entitled to an adverse action letter. An adverse action letter will tell you:

  • That you were denied the opportunity in question based on information in your background or credit check report
  • Where the background check company got the information from

In addition, many adverse action letters tell you what information specifically resulted in the negative decision. For instance, if you were denied employment opportunities because of a criminal background check, your letter may state that. Note, though, that adverse action letters are not legally required to include specific information about the reasons for denial.

Nevertheless, knowledgeable lawyers can help you determine which inaccurate information led to your current problems. Furthermore, every adverse action letter gives you some starting points with which to conduct your own investigation before beginning a background check dispute.

File a Background Check Dispute

The FCRA also gives all consumers the right to file a background check or credit check dispute if they believe inaccurate information has been used.

Say that you think you are denied an employment opportunity because of erroneous information in your background check. You can then contact Accurate or Amazon and contest the background check results.

The FCRA states that every organization that receives a background check dispute must investigate the dispute within 30 days. After investigating, the same organization must then respond to the original disputing consumer within five days.

Accurate allows background check candidates to submit online or physical mail dispute letters. Your dispute letter should include any key information regarding your background check information, including info so the agent can identify the erroneous data, plus your contact information.

Your lawyers can assist when putting together a background check dispute letter by ensuring that it includes all the necessary information and that you send it to the right location.

The FCRA also states that background check and credit check agencies must fix any erroneous information if it is brought to their attention. So if Accurate finds out that it made a mistake with your background check, it is legally obligated to fix the info as quickly as possible and to alert Amazon about its original error.

Once that happens, you might have another chance at the job or promotion you lost previously.

File a Lawsuit

But what if Accurate or Amazon decides not to correct erroneous information that you brought to their attention? In that case, you still have rights under the FCRA.

Specifically, you have the right to file a lawsuit against Accurate because the erroneous information resulted in actual damages to your person or finances. If you are successful with your lawsuit, you could recover damages of up to $1000 or significantly more depending on the circumstances of your case.

That said, it’s difficult to file a successful lawsuit in any circumstances, especially those regarding credit or background info errors. That’s why you should contact a law firm that specializes in background check mistakes – the firm’s lawyers can ensure that you file your lawsuit successfully and offer important legal support throughout the process.

Who to Contact About Amazon Background Check Mistakes

If you believe an Amazon background check has cost you the opportunity for a job, or has resulted in you being passed over for employment/being fired from your Amazon job, you should call Fair Credit today.

At Fair Credit, our knowledgeable legal professionals are well-equipped and ready to assist in a variety of ways. We’re not a massive law firm that will hand your case off to one of our least experienced lawyers. We’re a small, boutique, and specialized law firm that can see your unique situation and develop a strong strategy to achieve your goals.

In fact, we know all about the potential ramifications of Amazon background check mistakes, including the possibility of your reputation being tarnished with criminal allegations or false convictions. With so much on the line, there’s no reason not to contact us with more details about your situation.

When you contact Fair Credit, we’ll immediately break down your legal options and make a recommendation regarding lawsuits, arbitration, or some other process. We can also assist when filing a background check dispute if you so choose – in many cases, it’s possible to get a background check error corrected quickly if you supply Amazon with the right information. 

Wrap Up

Ultimately, any Amazon background check error can compromise your employment prospects or result in you losing your job after the fact. If this happens to you, know that you can contact legal representatives like Fair Credit. Contact us today for a free consultation and more information.

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