My question involves labor and employment law for the state of: Minnesota
I had an in-person interview w/ Company X with a man named P. on 10/14/2019. During the meeting I felt very uncomfortable with the person who was interviewing me (he swore throughout and was pretty unprofessional overall) and to just get it over with, I told him that I was interested in the job and that I did want it. To clarify, during the interview I was NOT explicitly offered the job. I was told that they were going to be conducting the rest of the interviews with the other candidates this week, and P. asked if I would be "potentially interested" in the position. I then told him "yes" just to get the interview over with. He then said that they would get back to me near the end of the week or early next with a final decision after speaking with all of the candidates.
Tuesday comes by and a woman named M. calls and leaves a voicemail where she stated that she wanted me to call her back anytime so that we could "discuss further steps in the hiring process." She did not explicitly state that she wanted to hire me, only that she would like to/was interested in offering me the position. YESTERDAY, 10/17/2019, I received an email from a background/consumer report company telling me that Company X had conducted a background check and consumer report "on my behalf" and that I would receive the results soon.
TODAY, 10/18/2019, I received an email from the background/consumer report company telling me that they had completed my background check and they attached a link with my results. I called Company X and told them that I did not give consent to having a background/consumer check on me because I HAD NOT accepted the position. I told her that I received a call from M. and that I chose not to respond to her because I did not want the job. She said that they conducted the background check anyways because I had consented to having one done in my initial application. I told her that despite that happening, I had not received any further calls, emails, etc. from anyone attempting to reach me again and that I did not EXPLICITLY accept or decline the position. I also told them that I had not received a formal onboarding welcome/offer letter sent to me in any way, shape or form. I mean, if you leave a message on someone's voicemail and they don't reply for 4 days, who in their right mind assumes that the person accepted the position?
This is what their background check "disclosure" said when I filled out the application a couple of months ago: PLEASE NOTE THAT THE REVIEW AND COMPLETION OF THE DOCUMENT RELATED TO THE BACKGROUND CHECK IS MANDATORY FOR ALL APPLICANTS, HOWEVER THE COMPANY WILL ONLY OBTAIN A BACKGROUND CHECK ON YOU UNTIL SUCH TIME AS YOU ARE OFFERED EMPLOYMENT WITH THE COMPANY.
I also want to add that this background check was conducted PRIOR to me receiving the "official" onboarding email. I received that today (10/18/2019) and the background check was conducted on Thursday (10/17/2019). She called on Tuesday and I have yet to respond to her directly with the exception of the email I sent to her included below. When I called Company X today (10/18/2019) the woman on the phone (not M.) told me that they conducted the background check anyways because I had consented to having one done in my initial application and also stated that it didnít matter if I had accepted the position or not.
My logic here is the following: all applicants agree to having a background check conducted as part of the application process, but what if the person does not accept the job offer or the company itself determine that the applicant is not right for the job? Do they conduct the BC regardless? Is that standard practice, or do companies do background checks ONLY AFTER the applicant has accepted the job offer? What is the industry standard here?
Immediately after the call I emailed M. and sent her the following message:
I am extremely upset that you went through with the background check/consumer report without allowing me to either accept or decline the offer prior to you conducting it. I am not afraid of anything in my background check, but I did not agree for it to be conducted.
Not only did you guys take months to respond, but the entire process was unprofessional. P. swore in front of me during the interview and he made me feel uncomfortable.
I will explore all legal options and take action as necessary.
Can I proceed with legal action or am I in the wrong here? PLEASE HELP!