I was recently hired, and then fired, from a new IT position in the state of FL. I have a BS Degree in CIS and 3 years of IT related experience. I started an IT position and worked only 1.5 weeks before being let go unexpectedly. I am 100% sure if was due to my background check.

While studying in college 5-6 years ago (I was 26-30 while in college as I am an honorable wartime veteran in early 20s for 4 years), I got a number of DUI arrests and a violation of probation, and 1 trespass arrest - all misdemeanors. I also have very poor credit and am working now to rebuild as I did not realize how important it was after getting out of the service/while in college for being able to have a good quality of life etc.

The day after I signed for the background check I sensed something wasn't right as everything was going well and I was doing a lot of good work. I was suddenly told to take 5 days off and then call back on Monday morning as the hiring/OP supervisor was going to be on vacation out of the country.

I called back Monday and she said she would call me back later in the day. She called back later in the day and, as I suspected based on her actions the week prior to leaving, used almost every thing possible to not directly say 'you're fired'. After the call my email was shut off and cloud folders with work I had done that she had not seen was also disconnected at the same time.

I went back to the paperwork I signed with the company the day before realizing something had drastically changed overnight, and saw that I signed an FCRA reporting page that states that any adverse changes to my employment I would have to be first shown the consumer report/evidence that lead to their decision.


Does anyone know if this is a standing business practice, and if I was let go (being told they would call me if they needed me, but I know that means never), could this possibly be something I should contact a lawyer about and explain what transpired over the last few weeks with this new job I started?

  • 3
    This seems like it belongs over on Law.
    – brhans
    May 9, 2017 at 13:52
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    Did you reveal all of this on your application, or was it a surprise for your employer when they did a background check and a bunch of criminal convictions came up?
    – Sean
    May 9, 2017 at 13:57
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    For future reference, you should probably assume that employers will find out about the DUI etc. It may be better to disclose during the interview process, which gives you a chance to discuss the changes you have made in your life. May 9, 2017 at 14:00
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    While I think the question in the title is on-topic here and can be answered generally (as Socrates' answer shows), note that this site cannot offer legal advice for your specific situation. We can't judge reliably whether you specifically have grounds to make a legal claim based on FCRA. That requires talking to a lawyer who is aware of all the particulars of the situation.
    – Lilienthal
    May 9, 2017 at 14:00
  • In your previous question you describe your role as a "consultant" and in this question you say you haven't been formally told you're fired but have been "told not to come in". Are you an actual employee or a contractor? If you're a contractor, your position is a lot more precarious. May 9, 2017 at 14:12

3 Answers 3


If an employer uses a third party to do a background check, they potentially have a FCRA liability. If you get fired as a result of a background problem but they do not notify you of the results of the background check before firing you, then it is potentially an FCRA violation and you may have grounds to sue the employer. If a violation has occurred then a court, under the law may award up to $1,000, even if no harm has taken place. If you have been harmed, which being fired would be a harm, then the damages are potentially unlimited depending on the degree to which you may have been financially harmed by the action.

You can obviously consult with an attorney that specializes in employment law to get more information about your legal options.


Let's get it directly from FTC:

Before You Take an Adverse Action

Before you reject a job application, reassign or terminate an employee, deny a promotion, or take any other adverse employment action based on information in a consumer report, you must give the applicant or employee:

  • a notice that includes a copy of the consumer report you relied on to make your decision; and
  • a copy of A Summary of Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, which the company that gave you the report should have given to you. Giving the person the notice in advance gives the person the opportunity to review the report and tell you if it is correct.

Florida may be an at-will state, but that doesn't override OP's rights under federal law. However, I'm not sure how to resolve the presumption that the background check came into play here, because right now, it's just a presumption. OP may wish to contact an attorney, but note that the basic damages (not the punitive damages, which could be higher) for a FCRA violation only go up to $1,000. Decide if it's worth the effort. If this employer is ambiguous on policy, then it wasn't a great place to work anyhow!


Florida's an at will state. You can be terminated at any time, for any reason, including no reason at all. Given the following:

I got a number of DUI arrests and a violation of probation, and 1 trespass arrest - all misdemeanors. I also have very poor credit

it's not much of a stretch that a background check would reveal all of this information and factors into their reason for terminating you. You can try and call their bluff if you want, but you already know the information they have, because you just told us.

If you're going to talk to a lawyer, investigate what it would take to get your record expunged. Most employers do not look favorably on DUI arrests.

Your employer is not bluffing.

  • 3
    This isn't answering the question. OP is asking about how the FCRA interacts with the fact he was fired.
    – Lilienthal
    May 9, 2017 at 13:57
  • This may be true, but what is also true is that I signed an FCRA form that states they MUST show me evidence and let me confirm what they have received prior to making final decision for my employment - in this case I was let go so I feel I definitely should have a right to see what they found etc on the report. It also says they need to give me agency name/number/address as well.
    – Anthony
    May 9, 2017 at 14:10
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    @sleddog - This doesnt answer the question though. The question is not do they have a right to fire him. Second you assume that it is the DUI but many times it is one or more severly dilinquent accounts on a credit report that are more damaging than old convictions that have been resolved. May 9, 2017 at 20:23
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    @Sleddog - I think you are confused. I don't need the answer for me. This is a Q&A site and your "Answer" does not even attempt to answer the question asked, just states your opinion on the subject. That opinion was not asked for. Edit your answer to answer the question asked please. May 10, 2017 at 16:09

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