Criminal background checks conducted on prospective employees routinely contain errors, mismatch people or misclassify criminal offenses, a report released Wednesday says.
The report, conducted by the National Consumer Law Center, said that since Sept. 11, 2001, more and more employers have conducted background checks on prospective hires -- creating a booming industry of Internet companies that cull public information databases for employers.
But the results are often pockmarked with errors.
"Background screening companies routinely cut corners to improve their profits and then they wipe their hands of any responsibility for producing an inaccurate or misleading report that can cost a worker his or her job," wrote Persis Yu, the report's co-author.
According to the report, one man was allegedly denied a job after a prospective employer ran a background check, which returned a 1987 rape conviction. The man, Samuel M. Jackson, was 4 in 1987. The rape conviction was for a man named Samuel L. Jackson, who was incarcerated at the time the report was run.