Adverse action is a legal process employers must follow if they’re considering not hiring or promoting you, or firing you based on information found in a background check. “Adverse action” is a legal way to define an action that is unfavorable to you, such as not getting hired based on your criminal record. This two-step notification process is required under a federal law called the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).
The adverse action process requires that employers send you two main notices:
If you do dispute information in your background check results, the the company that ran your check and data vendor must reinvestigate all the information you dispute. (See How To Dispute An Employment Background Check.)
If the investigation finds that the information is incorrect, the background check company must give you and the employer a copy of the corrected report.
An employer can only legally send you a final notice of adverse action after taking these steps.
Disclaimer: The resources provided here are for educational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. If you have questions regarding your background check or a particular record we advise you consult legal counsel.