Your Right to Correct Information Provided by Past Employers—Even When it’s NOT on your “DAC Report.”
"Lady Astor once said to Winston Churchill at a Dinner Party, "Winston, if you were my husband, I would poison your coffee!"
Winston replied, "Madam if I were your husband I would drink it!"
I And the feelings of driver and employer are sometimes similar when the employment relationship ends.
Last month’s column dealt with “Invisible Employment Histories”—those reference checks done by a potential employer that are not on your “DAC Report”—but keep you from getting the job you want. Many drivers believe all their employment is shown on a “DAC Report” while in fact, it is unlikely that all or even most employment will be shown. (http://www.dotjobhistory.com/articles/Who_Did_I_work_for.asp)
As detailed in last month’s column, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations spell out your rights to review that information directly from the prospective motor carrier. The exact wording is:
Drivers who have previous Department of Transportation regulated employment history in the preceding three years, and wish to review previous employer-provided investigative information must submit a written request to the prospective employer, which may be done at any time, including when applying, or as late as 30 days after being employed or being notified of denial of employment. The prospective employer must provide this information to the applicant within five (5) business days of receiving the written request. If the prospective employer has not yet received the requested information from the previous employer(s), then the five-business days deadline will begin when the prospective employer receives the requested safety performance history information. If the driver has not arranged to pick up or receive the requested records within thirty (30) days of the prospective employer making them available, the prospective motor carrier may consider the driver to have waived his/her request to review the records.
So, let’s assume you exercise your right to obtain this information. And when you review the information you discover that a previous employer has reported erroneous information on you. Before you put your fist through the wall I’d like to give you some personal advice. There’s something called “studs” that builders like to hide behind sheetrock every little bit. They cover their tracks well. Sheetrock gives—studs, not so much.
Anyway, seeing your information is the first step, but maybe not the last. The information may need to be disputed and you may need to add a statement. The Department of Transportation regulations are specific in regard to your right to dispute and add a rebuttal to employment history given by previous employers. While they are specific, the regulatory language can be hard to get your arms around the first seven or eight times you read it—but in short, after you review your information, you have the right to:
Have errors in the information corrected by the previous employer and for that previous employer to re-send the corrected information to the prospective employer;
Have a rebuttal statement attached to the alleged erroneous information, if you and the previous employer do not agree on the accuracy of the information;
Report failures of previous employers to correct information or include your rebuttal as part of the safety performance information, to the FMCSA.
These are your rights—but there are procedures you must follow to enforce your rights. We’ll cover procedure in a future article, but in the meantime, the regulation for all this can be found at the FMCSA website here: http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/rules