Whole Foods Settles FCRA Lawsuit for $803,000

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Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

Natural grocery store chain Whole Foods Market Group Inc. has agreed to pay nearly $803,000 to settle a class action lawsuit alleging violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) for improperly disclosing to job applicants that they would undergo background checks, according to a report from Top Class Actions.

Top Class Actions reports the lead plaintiff, Colin Speer, filed the FCRA lawsuit claiming that when he applied for a job at Whole Foods he was given a consent and release of information form and a disclosure statement form that were not clear and conspicuous about undergoing background checks.

Background checks for employment purposes are subject to strict disclosure and authorization requirements under the FCRA. Speer claimed that the Whole Food application process “violated the FCRA due to the inclusion of a liability waiver in its FCRA disclosure,” Top Class Actions reports.

Whole Foods “denies that it engaged in any wrongdoing” and does not admit nor concede any actual or potential fault, according to Top Class Actions, but agreed to the settlement since they would have to pay between $100 to $1,000 to each Class Member if a jury found the company liable.

Approximately 20,000 Class Members will receive a portion of $802,720 under the settlement, which is open to all Class Members who were Whole Foods employees or job applicants and received the two forms that allegedly violated the FCRA between December 4, 2009 and November 5, 2012.

The settlement is Colin Speer v. Whole Foods Market Group Inc., Case No. 8:14-cv-03035, U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida. The story is available at http://topclassactions.com/lawsuit-settlements/lawsuit-news/161350-whole-foods-settles-background-check-class-action-lawsuit-for-803k/.

Is Your Company in Danger of Facing an FCRA Class Action Lawsuit?

Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) class action lawsuits can damage the bottom line of any company. Employment Screening Resources® – “The Background Check Authority®” – helps businesses performing background checks comply with the FCRA. To learn more, visit the ESR FCRA page at http://www.esrcheck.com/FCRA/.