In 2011, the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee, with the Hughes, Socol, Piers, Resnick & Dym law firm, filed a lawsuit challenging a criminal background check report prepared by a company named Infotrack. Our client was a young white man who had no history of any felony conviction. The Infotrack company, however, issued a criminal background check report matching him with three African-American sex offenders, including one who committed rape when our client was only three years old. The lawsuit, brought pursuant to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) alleged that Infotrack had been grossly negligent. The case was settled soon after it was filed.
In a July 25, 2012 editorial, the New York Times referred to the facts of the Infotrack case as an egregious example of errors made in criminal background check reports, and the need for regulation of the companies who prepare these reports. It has become common for companies engaged in hiring to use criminal background check reports to screen applicants. For people seeking employment, it is crucial that they not be falsely labeled as someone who has a criminal record.
The editorial is available here.