Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against GEO Group for Alleged FCRA Violations

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Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

A class action lawsuit filed in New York federal court claims The GEO Group, Inc. and their background screening provider violated the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) during criminal background checks of job applicants, the law firm Outten & Golden LLP announced.

Filed on behalf of plaintiff Eric Keels and similarly situated applicants for employment with GEO Group, the class action lawsuit claims GEO Group and their background screening provider failed to comply with FCRA notice requirements before taking adverse actions against job applicants.

The FCRA requires an employer taking an “adverse action” against a job applicant based on information in a background check report to first provide a “pre-adverse action” notice to the applicant that includes a copy of the report and “A Summary of Your Rights Under the FCRA.”

In addition, the complaint claims that the background screening provider failed to notify job applicants when furnishing GEO Group with negative background check reports and to follow strict procedures to ensure the accuracy and completeness of those background check reports.

Enacted in 1970, the FCRA promotes the accuracy, fairness, and privacy of consumer information contained in background check reports, including protecting consumers from the willful and negligent inclusion of inaccurate information in their reports.

Keels, who had an employment offer with GEO Group rescinded based on a background check report, said in the announcement that he hopes to ensure that GEO Group and the screening firm follow the law “so that people who want to come work for GEO Group have a fair chance.”

According to its website, The GEO Group is the world’s leading provider of correctional, detention, and community reentry services with 20,500 employees around the globe. A copy of the class action lawsuit is available at www.outtengolden.com/content/pdf/geo-group-complaint.pdf.

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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 about ESR’s screening services, please call toll free 888.999.4474 or visit www.esrcheck.com/sales.

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