Inaccurate Criminal Background Check Information Leaves Innocent Man Jobless

By Thomas Ahearn, Employment Screening Resources (ESR) News Editor

A man from North Philadelphia, Pennsylvania was stunned after he was fired from his job at a video-game store for ‘nondisclosure of information’ on his application caused by what turned out to be erroneous information on a background check, according to a story in the Philadelphia Daily News.

The 32-year-old man had admitted that he had pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of simple assault, harassment, and related offenses for fighting, and disclosed this on his job application at a video-game store in North Philadelphia, PA. However, after a month of employment, his manager asked about any criminal record that he had not disclosed before firing him.

After being fired, the man interviewed for an overnight-manager position at another company and gave them permission to do a background check. A week later, he received a denial letter from the company and a copy of his background check which claimed he had been convicted in 1996 of felony cocaine possession in Gloucester County, Virginia and sentenced to 10 years in prison.

The man – who had never even been to Gloucester County, VA and was still in high school at the time of the offense – called the background check company to dispute the information and the company cleared his criminal background check of the false felony cocaine charge. However, the video-game store did not re-hire him after the felony charge was cleared, the Philadelphia Daily News reports.

After not having steady work since April 2009, the man now wonders how many other jobs that he applied for but did not get were because of inaccurate information on his background check.

This story – about an employee losing a job because of inaccurate information on a background check – shows why hiring (and firing) decisions made by employers must be based on timely and accurate background check information. Erroneous and out of date background check information exposes employers not only to bad hiring decisions but also to potential litigation from those people harmed by such data.

A reputable and accredited background check company can help ensure that the information found on background checks is accurate and up to date and limit the occurrence of “bad” background checks. For more information on background checks, visit Employment Screening Resources (ESR) at

Founded in 1996 in the San Francisco Bay area, Employment Screening Resources (ESR) is the company that wrote the book on background checks with ‘The Safe Hiring Manual’ by ESR founder and President Lester Rosen. Employment Screening Resources is accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) Background Screening Credentialing Council (BSCC) for proving compliance with the Background Screening Agency Accreditation Program (BSAAP). ESR was the third U.S. background check firm to be Safe Harbor’ Certified for data privacy protection. To learn more, visit or contact Jared Callahan, ESR Director of Client Relations, at 415.898.0044 or