Judge Dismisses FCRA Class Action Lawsuit Against Target

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Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

A federal judge in Minnesota has dismissed a class action lawsuit against Target Corp. by ruling the discount retailer did not “willfully” violate the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) that regulates background checks for employment in the U.S., according to a report from Top Class Actions.

Top Class Actions reports lead plaintiff Thomas Just claimed in a lawsuit filed in November of 2015 that Target violated the FCRA by including “extraneous” information on the required notification and authorization used to let job applicants know that employers will run background checks on them.

In December of 2015, Target asked the court to dismiss the FCRA lawsuit by claiming its notice and authorization did not include language that would distract or confuse job applicants but only worked to clarify and enhance the understanding of the notice by job applicants, Top Class Actions reports.

According its motion to dismiss the class action, Top Class Actions reports that Target claimed the FCRA itself includes qualifications that indicate that including additional and supplementary language in a notice and authorization is not a “willful” violation of the statute.

Top Class Actions reports U.S. District Judge Donovan W. Frank dismissed the case, noting in his order that: “Even if the court assumes, for the sake of argument, that Target violated the FCRA, it cannot conclude that [the plaintiff] plausibly alleges that such violation was willful.”

Additionally, Top Class Actions reports that Judge Frank cited the “less than clear text” of the FCRA regulation as well as the “dearth of guidance” from higher courts and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) – which help to enforce the FCRA – as being both at issue in this class action lawsuit.

The lawsuit is Thomas J. Just v. Target Corp., Case No. 0:15-cv-04117, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota. The article is at https://topclassactions.com/lawsuit-settlements/lawsuit-news/335388-judge-tosses-target-employment-background-check-class-action/.

ESR Whitepaper on FCRA Lawsuits

With FCRA lawsuits on the rise, Employment Screening Resources (ESR) has released a complimentary whitepaper, “Common Ways Prospective or Current Employees Sue Employers Under the FCRA,” that is available at http://www.esrcheck.com/Whitepapers/Ways-Employees-Sue-Employers-Under-FCRA/.

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