Certiphi Background Check Errors? We Help You Fight Back

Last Updated:
April 20, 2023

When you apply for a new job position, your prospective employer will probably request a background check. Instead of doing the background check themselves, however, that employer may use a company like Certiphi: a dedicated, third-party screening agency.

Although Certiphi has a lot of experience in the background check industry, this company does occasionally make background check errors. Some errors can cost you job opportunities or even cause you to be fired from a job you currently hold. Read on to discover what to do if you encounter a Certiphi background check error and how Fair Credit can help you resolve the situation.

Certiphi Explained

Certiphi, also called Certiphi Screening, Inc., is a background screening company originally founded in 1989. Although Certiphi is based in Pennsylvania, it offers background screening services to organizations throughout the country.

In fact, Certiphi is known to work exclusively with healthcare organizations, like medical clinics, psychiatry offices, and much more. As of this writing, Certiphi is the premier applicant screening service provider for the healthcare industry overall, offering background check services for both US and international companies. It utilizes a variety of industry-specific knowledge to reduce compliance risk and to provide reliable candidate data to its clients.

What Does Certiphi Examine in a Background Screening?

Certiphi checks different elements in job candidate backgrounds depending on what its clients want. For example, if you apply to a government position, like an FBI agent, you can bet that Certiphi will perform a comprehensive check of your criminal history background, work experience, college credentials, etc. If you apply to a low-risk job, like that of a waiter, your background check might be a little less comprehensive.

Certiphi is able to check and track different types of candidate information, including but not limited to:

  • Checks for whether a candidate is on the sex offender registry or the terrorist global watchlist
  • Driving record checks, such as DUI convictions, speeding tickets, etc.
  • Criminal background checks at the federal, national, state, and county levels
  • Civil checks, such as for lawsuits or bankruptcies, at the federal and county levels
  • Both national and international education and employment checks, such as whether you have an accredited degree, etc.
  • Drug screening result checks
  • Credit checks from one or all three of the major credit bureaus
  • Number tracing for your Social Security number to prevent identity theft

Furthermore, Certiphi is known to provide post-employment screening. Some companies use Certiphi to check the background of employees periodically as a way of ensuring that each employee working for them is trustworthy.

Damage from a Certiphi Background Check Error

Unfortunately, even a single Certiphi background check error can be devastating, especially if you have been on the job hunt for some time.

Imagine applying for the job of your dreams. On paper, you qualify perfectly; you also believe that the company will be a great fit for your personality and work ethic. The interview goes smoothly, and you receive a job offer contingent on your background check returning with no problems.

But during the background screening process, Certiphi makes a major error, such as reporting that you have a criminal history, reporting that you failed a drug screening test, or something else. In any event, the mistake causes your future employer to rescind the job offer, forcing you to go back to your job search.

That’s not all that a Certiphi background check mistake can ruin. If you’re already working for an employer, but that company uses Certiphi for post-employment background checks, a single mistake could cause you to lose your job. That might throw your finances and entire life into jeopardy. Losing a job means you have to look for a new one entirely, plus explain why you lost your previous job.

Since a Certiphi background check error might follow you around, it’s in your best interest to get the erroneous information corrected at the earliest opportunity. That means you need to know how to file a dispute letter with Certiphi (and how to sue this background check company if necessary).

Common Certiphi Background Check Mistakes

Certiphi as an organization has a lot of experience in the background check industry. That said, it is still comprised of human agents and workers. These workers can make mistakes from time to time, especially if they use outdated technology or if they are scanning the records of consumers who have very common names.

Here are some examples of the most common Certiphi background check errors you might encounter or that might affect your job search:

  • Mistaking your identity for someone else’s. As noted above, this can happen if you have a common name, like John A. Smith, and Certiphi may confuse your record for someone named John E. Smith
  • Using outdated and negative information in your background screening report, like a bankruptcy report that is older than seven years (which shouldn’t show up in your background check at all)
  • Providing information with various titles like number transpositions or misspellings of your name
  • Making mistakes during the copy, filing, and/or search parts of the process
  • Sending files with corrupted information to clients or companies, which can cause your background to appear differently or inaccurately
  • Sending wrong or incomplete data or original documents to your employer, like inaccurate work history documents
  • Sending employers duplicate information, such as repeating the same DUI conviction multiple times and across many different years

Certiphi’s common background check mistakes can happen because of human error or for different reasons. Regardless, Certiphi has a responsibility to ensure that it doesn’t make any mistakes. If it fails in this duty, you have the option to dispute the background check results. 

What to Do if You Lose a Job Offer Because of a Certiphi Background Check Mistake?

The consequences of a Certiphi background check mistake can be frustrating to deal with. Good news, though – you can take certain steps if you lose a job offer because of a background check error thanks to the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Wait for an Adverse Action Notice

The FCRA states that all consumers have the right to receive an adverse action notice if they lose a job or financial opportunity because of their background or credit information. Say that you lose a job offer because Certiphi says that you have a criminal record (which is erroneous information). When Certiphi provides that information to your prospective employer, the employer has to send you an adverse action notice breaking that down.

The adverse action notice doesn’t have to tell you exactly what information caused the job denial. But it does have to say that your background information was the primary factor in the decision.

Read Through the Notice

When you receive your adverse action notice, read through it carefully. The adverse action notice will include lots of key information, such as a copy of your background screening report, the contact information of the agency that made the report (Certiphi, in this case), and so on.

Remember, the company doesn’t have to state exactly what information caused them to deny you a job offer – it just has to state that it was some element of your background info (though some companies will get specific for your benefit).

Once you have this info, you can move on to the next and most important step: filing a background check dispute with Certiphi itself.

File a Dispute with Certiphi

The FCRA reserves the right for all consumers to file disputes with background screening agencies. That's because it also guarantees that consumers are only considered for job opportunities and interviews with accurate information.

If you notice inaccurate, out-of-date, or otherwise erroneous information in your background screening report, you can contest that matter by filing a dispute with Certiphi online or by writing a letter by hand. You can also call Certiphi or fax the same information to Certiphi Screening, Inc. In any case, you should include:

  • A copy of the adverse action letter and your background screening report
  • A breakdown of the erroneous information, such as by highlighting it or referencing it in the report
  • A request that Certiphi fix the issue promptly and report the mistake to your prospective employer

If Certiphi does this, the odds are good that you may get another shot at a job you were previously denied. You might also be restored to your previous position if you lost the job because of inaccurate background check information.

Thanks to the FCRA, background screening agencies like Certiphi have 30 business days to investigate any disputes that are brought to their attention. So, for example, if you file a dispute with Certiphi on February 15, Certiphi needs to investigate the issue by March 16 at the latest.

Furthermore, if Certiphi finds that you are correct and that they reported inaccurate information to your employer, they have a legal responsibility to fix the issue and report their mistake. They have to tell you that they do this within five business days of finding the inaccurate information.

All in all, filing a dispute is the easiest and fastest way to fix background check errors made by Certiphi or any other background check company. The FCRA allows you to do this with any background screening agency, in addition to the credit bureaus or credit furnishers that may cause credit report errors for similar reasons.

Can You Sue Certiphi for Background Check Errors?

Normally, you can’t sue Certiphi for a simple background check error if you follow the above steps and if Certiphi resolves or corrects any inaccurate information. But there are some situations in which you can sue Certiphi for background check errors.

Firstly, if you notify Certiphi of inaccurate background information, and the organization doesn’t correct it, you could have grounds for a lawsuit. That’s because Certiphi has breached your consumer rights under the FCRA.

Next, if you can prove that Certiphi’s background check mistake materially damaged your well-being, such as by costing you a job or causing you to be fired because of inaccurate information, you may also have grounds for a lawsuit. In these cases, a successful lawsuit may yield up to $1000 in damages or more, depending on things like attorney fees and other expenses.

Lastly, if Certiphi’s background check error delays your job start date – for example, if you were provisionally hired for a new position, but had to wait an extra month to actually start working and getting paid because of a background check mistake – you may have grounds for a lawsuit. If you are successful, Certiphi might be on the hook to pay you for the lost wages you would have earned otherwise.

Regardless, it’s a good idea to contact knowledgeable background check mistake attorneys like Fair Credit. Fair Credit can provide lots of assistance to your case, such as:

  • Helping you gather evidence to strengthen your case, like communications between yourself and Certiphi
  • Helping you acquire an adverse action notice if Certiphi or your prospective employer did not provide you with one
  • Helping you decide between suing Certiphi or pursuing other means of legal recourse, like arbitration

Furthermore, Fair Credit can help you earlier in this process. When you file a dispute letter with Certiphi, that dispute letter will be more likely to be successful if you have knowledgeable attorneys work with you to outline key information, provide substantiating documents, and more.

If you believe you may have grounds for a lawsuit against Certiphi, contact knowledgeable attorneys to fully understand these implications and choose the right course of action for your future.

Wrap Up

Certiphi background check errors can cost you a job opportunity or cause your job search to go on for much longer than it should. When you encounter a Certiphi background check mistake, you need to know your rights and file a dispute letter to resolve the matter ASAP.

Fair Credit can help in a variety of ways. Our knowledgeable attorneys can help you file an effective dispute letter, sue Certiphi if necessary, and provide you with sound legal counsel throughout the process. Contact us today to learn more.

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