SentryLink LLC was founded in 2001, and is based in Greenbelt, Maryland. The company offers employment background screening services. According to its website, “provides a comprehensive solution” for employment and tenant screening needs and with its “in-depth information, low prices, and immediate turn-around time, SentryLink is trusted by businesses and consumers every day.”
The company provides virtually every type of screening and background check by using the applicant’s name, birth date and social security number including:
- Sex offender registry
- County, state, national, and federal criminal checks
- County and federal civil checks
- Global Watchlist Search
- Driving records
- National and international employment and education checks
- Personal and professional references
- Drug checks
- Credit checks
- Social Security number tracing
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Whether you get hired or promoted often depends on the information learned from an employment background check. A background check can come in many shapes and sizes. It may be as simple as verifying your social security number. Or it may include a detailed report of your credit and criminal history, or even information gathered from interviews of your friends and neighbors about your character and reputation.
Whatever the scope of the background check, the FCRA sets strict standards for how employers and background check companies get consent for and conduct background checks, and what they can do with the information they find.
If a background check company like SentryLink fails to meet those standards, the FCRA gives you rights.
Common Mistakes On Employee Background Checks:
Background checks are susceptible to errors. Individuals who handle public and private data about you can make mistakes and computer systems can also fail to to be accurate. Here are some of the most common causes for inaccurate info showing on your report:
- Wrong or incomplete data in original documents
- Typos such as number transposition
- Copying, filing, and search mistakes
- File corruption in computer system
- Duplicate information
- Outdated negative information
- Mistaken identity
- Identity theft
What are my Background Check Disclosure and Consent Rights?
You have a right to know if an employer will use information from a background check against you and an employer cannot obtain background check information without your express written consent.
A background check company cannot hand over your information to an employer unless the employer certifies that: (1) it has “clearly and conspicuously” disclosed to you in a separate document that it may obtain a background check; (2) you have authorized it to get the background check; and (3) it will provide you with advance notice of any adverse action based in any part on the background check report, a copy of the report, and a summary of your rights under the FCRA.
If an employer takes “adverse action” against you by denying you a job based partly or completely on information in a background check report, the employer must give you notice of that fact. The adverse action notice must include the contact information for the background check company and an explanation of your rights to dispute the report.
Can criminal convictions appear on my background check after 7 years?
Yes, but a background check company must take reasonable steps to ensure its report is as accurate as possible. The FCRA also puts limits on the negative information a job screening report can include. A report cannot list civil suits, judgments, arrest records, paid tax liens, accounts in collection or most other negative information after 7 years, or bankruptcies after 10 years. It also cannot list expunged convictions. However misdemeanor or felony criminal convictions that go on record and are accurate can stay on your background check indefinitely.
If you don’t get a job because of information in a background check report, you are entitled to a copy of the report. You also have the right to dispute the report if it has errors or includes information it shouldn’t. If you dispute a report, the background check company must investigate and correct any errors within 30 days.
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If you lost out on a job or promotion because a background check report included inaccurate or illegal information, you may be able to sue in federal court. If you sue and win, you may be entitled to your actual damages or statutory damages up to $1,000, plus punitive damages, attorneys’ fees, and costs.
Hardworking people just like you who lost job opportunities due to an inaccurate or unfair SentryLink employment background check report have already sued the company for FCRA violations. Justia lists at least 6 federal civil lawsuits against this agency, including cases that allege violations of the FCRA due to improper employment screening reports.
For example, on May 4, 2016, a consumer sued SentryLink in the federal district court for the District of Maryland for violating the FCRA in connection with an employment background check and that he lost employment opportunities and suffered emotional distress, reputational harm and other damages. The complainant alleged that he applied for a job with Liberty Health & Life and his application was subject to a background check. SentryLink prepared the background check but failed to use reasonable procedures to ensure the maximum accuracy possible of the report as the FCRA requires. According to the complainant, the agency falsely listed a felony conviction (aggravated assault) on the complainant’s report when, in fact, the felony belonged to someone else with a somewhat similar name, but a different birth date and personal identifying information. Liberty Health & Life refused to hire him, citing the felony conviction in the inaccurate report.
This is just one of the federal civil FCRA lawsuits filed against SentryLink. Most of those lawsuits allege that this agency did not take reasonable steps to verify criminal background information and, as a result, falsely branded the complainants as convicted felons and caused them to lose job opportunities. Several complainants filed their lawsuits as class action complaints, on behalf of themselves and similarly situated people.
Actual Complaints Listed on the BBB website
“This company has provided incorrect information about my record that has cost me my job”
“I asked SentryLink to stop distributing my personal information to the public and they replied with a refusal. Carolyn S., SentryLink Customer Care Representative said that they have the right to distribute my personal information to the public including criminal records. I have a misdemeanor charge that occurred 9 years ago and also seeking employment. I never gave SentryLink the right to distribute a criminal background check or any of my other personal information.”
7500 Greenway Center Drive, Suite 1040
Greenbelt, MD 20770
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If you’re ready to assert your rights and fight incorrect information in your background check, we can help you get justice. Complete our form for a FREE case evaluation, or call 844-685-9200 NOW
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