Amazon Motion of Summary Judgement Denied in FCRA Lawsuit

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Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

A judge in Washington state has denied a motion of summary judgement filed by Amazon.com and a staffing company in a class action lawsuit claiming the online retail giant violated the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), according to a TopClassActions.com report.

Top Class Actions reports that U.S. District Judge Gary Feinerman denied Amazon’s motion of summary judgement that argued that the FCRA lawsuit should be dismissed because Amazon had offered lead plaintiff Gregory Williams the required FCRA statutory damages of $1,000.

Judge Feinerman noted Williams would be vulnerable to a “pick-off” until a motion to certify the proposed Class is filed. The attorney for Williams said the court should certify two Classes to avoid being “picked off” by a settlement offer in the FCRA lawsuit, Top Class Actions reports.

“Defendants, through their unsuccessful motion for summary judgment, have made clear that they will seek to decapitate the class by picking off Mr. Williams as a class representative through an offer of individual settlement,” the attorney for Williams stated in the report.

Top Class Actions reports the Classes for the Amazon FCRA lawsuit would consist of applicants who were not offered jobs based on background reports over a five-year period ending when the complaint was filed in April 2015, according to the motion seeking certification of the lawsuit.

The class action lawsuit is Gregory Williams v. Amazon.com Inc et al, Case Number 2:15-cv-00542, filed in the United States District Court Western District of Washington at Seattle. The full text of the complaint is available at http://www.esrcheck.com/file/Williams-v-Amazon.pdf.

As previously reported by ESR News in April 2015, the lead plaintiff Williams filed a class action lawsuit claiming Amazon and a staffing company violated the FCRA when he was denied a job at an Amazon warehouse based on an incorrect background check that was not disclosed to him.

According to the complaint, the staffing firm performed the background check that “listed two criminal convictions – an old open container misdemeanor that belonged to Mr. Williams, and a felony conviction for cocaine possession, which did not belong to Plaintiff.”

Section 604 of the FCRA requires employers taking an “adverse action” due to information in a background check to provide a copy of the report and the document “A Summary of Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act” to the applicant before making any final decision.

Employment Screening Resources (ESR) reminds readers that allegations made in FCRA class action lawsuits are not proof that a business violated any law, rule, or regulation. To learn more about background checks from ESR, call toll free 888.999.4474 or visit www.esrcheck.com.

To learn about FCRA compliance, read “Complying with the FCRA in Four Easy Steps” by ESR Founder and CEO Attorney Lester Rosen at www.esrcheck.com/Articles/Complying-with-the-Fair-Credit-Reporting-Act-in-Four-Easy-Steps/135/.

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