Former FBI Agent’s book details impacts of faulty background checks

Every executive and all employees should be aware of consequences associated with improper employment background checks. A new book by former FBI agent Hank Balevic explains the pitfalls of screening companies that have ignored hiring protocols.

Balevic, who is currently president of Fidelity Data Service, details missteps in the hiring process with his new book, Faulty Background Checks: Shatter Applicant’s Lives While Harming Businesses. Balevic explains that the rapacious actions of the screening companies have resulted in enforcement action by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and thousands of lawsuits being filed against the companies by private attorneys.

Over 100 background screening companies have violated federal law by producing faulty background checks and branding innocent applicants as sex offenders, drug dealers and violent criminals.  Consequently, applicants have been denied employment or a place to live.

Applicants are not the only victims in this scandal. Employers, condo associations and property management companies suffer substantial financial losses by rejecting innocent applicants branded as criminals, along with losing the services of acceptable employees and tenants.

When accepting bogus screening reports, these corporations are sued and forced to pay damages, fines, and penalties. The flip side of rejecting innocent applicants, based on these background checks, is accepting applicants with criminal arrests, convictions, and prison records because of mislabeling applicants with a criminal history.

The federal violations committed by the screening companies include:

  • Failure to use legal authorization forms.
  • Failure to provide applicants with a disclosure that a background check will be performed.
  • Failure to use procedures to assure accurate court records.
  • Using automated hiring programs that result in falsely labeling applicants as criminals.
  • Failure to give applicants an opportunity to challenge the results of a bogus criminal records.
  • Using algorithms and outdated criminal databases as a shortcut to using time-consuming accurate search procedures.

The book, Faulty Background Checks: Shatter Applicant’s Lives While Harming Businesses may be found at bookstores and

Balevic’s company provides accurate and comprehensive background checks in accordance with federal law and adhering to the highest ethical standards. Balevic learned screening the right way, first as an FBI Special Agent conducting high level background investigations for cabinet level appointees and later in his role as Director of Corporate Security. He is a Navy veteran and a member of the Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI. He is currently also a licensed Florida Private Investigator.

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