TIGHT-ROPE WAKING

RothLawAppeals, Business Services, Lawsuits

An old maxim holds that every wrong should have a remedy.  For better or worse, this is not exactly true.  Before one can avail oneself of the courts, two things must happen.  The putative plaintiff must have been wronged and he must have been injured as a result.  Without a concrete injury, Courts will not intervene.

What causes a concrete injury is not always intuitive.  Take an erroneous background check, for instance.  On one hand, under some circumstances, a prospective employer may be as liable as the company from which it ordered the report if that report contains false information.

On the other hand, not every mistake causes the applicant harm.  The courts will not waste their time on someone complaining of a wrong zip code even though the report is technically erroneous.  But what if something more serious caused the applicant the job? Loss of wages is certainly injurious.  Even less easily quantified harm may be actionable.

Employers must walk a fine line.  Ignore information in a background check and they may be responsible for harm the employee may cause later.  Follow it blindly, and the applicant may be the one taking them to Court.  A few good people in charge of human resources, and a good attorney at their back, could spare employers a lot of pain.