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Driver-Screening Firms Draw Scrutiny

by: Loretta Chao

Originally published in The WSJ, Oct. 19, 2016

Commercial driver background checks have become a lightning rod in the trucking industry, drawing ire from those who say they have been wrongly barred from jobs due to inaccuracies in these employment-history reports.

Records compiled through public filings are a routine part of the application process for many jobs. But truck drivers face an extra layer of scrutiny in the form of “Drive-a-Check” or “DAC” reports, which contain employer-provided work histories, including accidents and alleged unethical behavior, such as abandoning a delivery mid-route.

These dossiers, compiled since 2008 by Irvine, Calif.-based HireRight LLC, can be an extra barrier to employment for millions of truck drivers in the U.S. Even a single unfavorable incident in a report can spell the end of a driving career. HireRight has smaller rivals, but it far outpaces similar companies and runs about 2 million background checks on truckers each year, exposing it to more legal challenges.