Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn
A class action lawsuit filed in a Georgia federal court against Home Depot alleges the home improvement company violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) by performing background checks without notifying employees and job applicants and failing to give them copies of the background checks before taking actions against them based on the information in the reports. A TopClassActions.com article about the class against lawsuit is available at http://www.topclassactions.com/lawsuit-settlements/lawsuit-news/33565-home-depot-hit-employee-background-check-class-action-lawsuit/.
The class action lawsuit was filed by Texas resident Trent Henderson, on behalf of himself and other potential class members, who alleges he applied for a job at a Home Depot in Houston in 2014 using an online job application. More details about the class action lawsuit against Home Depot are included in the article from TopClassActions.com:
For the application, Henderson willingly disclosed information about his past history, completed an interview, and performed a drug test as per required by the application process. According to the Home Depot class action lawsuit, “Home Depot obtains consumer reports about applicants, including Henderson, at approximately the same time it requires applicants to complete drug tests.”
Shortly after the drug test was conducted, Henderson was allegedly contacted by a Home Depot agent who informed him that he would not be receiving the position of employment because of his background. By refusing to hire Henderson based on the information of this consumer report, Home Depot’s actions are considered adverse employment action and violation of FCRA, according to the Home Depot background check class action lawsuit.
“Home Depot did not provide Henderson with a copy of any consumer report that Home Depot had obtained or a written description of his rights under the FCRA, whether prior to or after notifying him of its decision not to hire him,” the class action lawsuit says. His complaint goes on to state that Home Depot routinely refuses to release copies of consumer reports or provide notice of these reports to employees and job applicants.
Additionally, Henderson’s class action lawsuit also seeks to address how Home Depot violated FCRA rules through its application agreement prompt. Nowhere in the terms and disclosures provided by Home Depot’s online application does it use the term consumer report or indicate to an applicant that Home Depot may search for personal information from consumer report agencies.
The Home Depot background check class action lawsuit seeks to certify a Class of individuals who applied for work at Home Depot, agreed to the terms and disclosures, and were subject to consumer report without being informed on or after July 3, 2013. Henderson’s class action lawsuit is also seeking to certify those who have faced adverse employment action, like Henderson, and who did not receive copies of these reports.
TopClassActions.com reports that the Class of plaintiffs could potentially include “thousands of Home Depot applicants” due to the “sheer number of people who have applied for employment at Home Depot in the past year alone.” The class action lawsuit is Henderson v. The Home Depot Inc., Case No. 1:14-cv-02123, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.
“This class action lawsuit shows why employers need to be sure that they follow basic FCRA requirements,” says Attorney Lester Rosen, CEO of Employment Screening Resources® (ESR), a nationwide background check firm accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners® (NAPBS). “While employers need to exercise due diligence in hiring with background checks, they also need to audit their background check practices when it comes to legal compliance.”
One resource available to assist employers with FCRA compliance is a joint publication from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) titled ‘Background Checks: What Employers Need to Know.’ This publication – which explains how compliance with the FCRA and anti-discrimination laws intersect when employers use background checks – is at http://business.ftc.gov/documents/0487-background-checks-what-employers-need-know.
As reported earlier on ESR News, another FCRA class action lawsuit filed July 3, 2014 in a Georgia federal court alleged that rent-to-own retailer Aaron’s Inc. ran background checks on employees and job applicants without providing copies of the reports and took adverse employment action and without giving them access to the reports or informing them of their rights under the FCRA. A copy of the class action lawsuit Antoine v. Aaron’s, Inc., Case No. 1:14-cv-02120 is available at http://thejordanfirm.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/1-main.pdf.
Background Check Class Action Lawsuit Information from ESR News
More class action lawsuit blogs from ESR News are available at http://www.esrcheck.com/wordpress/tag/class-action-lawsuits/.