An employer in Rhode Island can refuse to hire you or even terminate your job because of information they discovered when conducting a background check on you. However, there are specific laws in place that protect individuals from being taken advantage of by businesses.
Understanding adverse action in Rhode Island
An adverse action is a situation where an employer does something that puts a person at a disadvantage regarding employment opportunities. The most common example is employer retaliation. This is when your boss refuses to move forward with a planned promotion or maltreats you because you testified in court against the company for something they were doing wrong.
Rhode Island adverse action laws
In Rhode Island, employers must follow three steps before taking any action that would affect an individual’s career. The first is informing them that they will be conducting a background check using a pre-adverse action letter. They will then give you up to five business days to respond to the letter and to provide any documentation or information that may be relevant. After this, the employer can either move forward with the adverse action or not.
What can you do if you believe you were treated unfairly
As a candidate, you can raise a dispute over the background screening process if you feel that the employer has not followed these steps correctly. One way to do this is by filing a complaint with the Rhode Island Commission for Human Rights.
The Rhode Island Commission for Human Rights will investigate your complaint and determine if there is enough evidence to believe that the employer discriminated against you. If they find that discrimination did occur, they will work with the employer to come to a resolution. This could include them changing their background check policy, providing you with compensation, or even giving you your job back.
As an employee in Rhode Island, you are protected from being discriminated against or treated unfairly by your employer. If you have been a victim of adverse action, it is important to know that you have rights and ways to protect yourself.