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Mix up in background screenings can result in legal troubles

Dec 03, 2012 Quinn Thomas

Background screenings help businesses determine which applicants are to be trusted and which should be turned away. However, mistakes in the process can hurt firms not only in the hiring process, but also with potential lawsuits. Darlene Martinez is one such story. In 2011, Martinez was offered a housekeeping position in a local hospital, and all she had to do was pass a criminal background screening, which she assumed wouldn't be a problem considering she doesn't have a criminal record, The Green Bay Press Gazette writes. However, Martinez's record was confused with Darlene Ramirez, who was found guilty of drug possession in 2009. As a result, Martinez's job offer was rescinded, and now she's filed a lawsuit, alleging she wasn't notified about the damaging report. "The only thing that was the same is her first name," said Paul B. Mengedoth, the lawyer who is representing Martinez. "They indicate on the report that they verified by Social Security and date of birth, both of which we've been able to confirm are not matching." To avoid a similar situation, companies will want to put in place the most stringent background screening processes possible, and even contract with professionals in the industry.