Judge Rules FCRA Class Action Lawsuit Against Restaurant Chain May Proceed

 GavelFCRAClassActionLawsuit

Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

A federal judge has ruled that a class action lawsuit against Waffle House that seeks damages due to the restaurant chain’s alleged “systematic and willful violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)” by obtaining background check reports without taking adequate steps to ensure that the information reported was accurate may proceed, according to a report from Courthouse News.

Courthouse News reports that lead the lead plaintiff in the class action lawsuit, William Jones, claims the FCRA violation took place when he tried to get a job at a Waffle House in Ormond Beach, Fla. in December of 2014. Waffle House attempted to dismiss the class action lawsuit for lack of standing, stating that Jones could not prove “injury-in-fact, causation, or redressability.”

However, Courthouse News reports U.S. District Judge Roy Dalton, Jr. tossed out Waffle House’s motion to dismiss the FCRA class action lawsuit on the purported lack of subject matter jurisdiction, holding that “as a general rule, ‘federal claims should not be dismissed on a motion for lack of subject matter.’” A hearing is scheduled for July 1, 2016, to decide if the case will go to arbitration.

Courthouse News also reports the federal judge order stated that under the FCRA, “when preparing a consumer report, a consumer reporting agency is required to follow reasonable procedures to assure maximum possible accuracy of the information concerning the individual about whom the report relates.” The reporting agency also failed to notify the plaintiff before providing adverse information.

The FCRA class action lawsuit is Jones v. Waffle House, Inc. et al, case number 6:15-cv-01637-RBD-DAB, filed on October 1, 2015 in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Orlando Division. The complete article is available on the Courthouse News Service website at http://www.courthousenews.com/2016/06/20/waffle-house-must-face-class-employment-claims.htm.

As reported by the ESR News Blog in October 2015, the plaintiff in the class action lawsuit also claimed that Waffle House violated the FCRA by not providing proper disclosures before performing a background check on him, not providing him of a copy of his background check report before taking adverse action against him, and not providing a separate post-adverse action notice to him.

This FCRA lawsuit against Waffle House is just one of many such lawsuits filed in recent years. In 2015 alone, well-known companies such as Food Lion, Home Depot, Chuck E. Cheese, BMW, and Whole Foods agreed to pay FCRA lawsuit settlements ranging from $803,000 to $3 million. In 2016, Wells Fargo agreed to a settlement of $12 million to resolve an FCRA lawsuit.

Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) founder and CEO Attorney Lester Rosen has written a whitepaper entitled “Common Ways Prospective or Current Employees Sue Employers Under the FCRA” in response to the rising trend of FCRA class action lawsuits. The complimentary whitepaper is available at http://www.esrcheck.com/Whitepapers/Ways-Employees-Sue-Employers-Under-FCRA/.

A Reminder Aviout FCRA Lawsuits

Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) reminds readers that allegations alone made in FCRA class action lawsuits are not proof that a business violated any law, rule, or regulation. For more blogs about the FCRA, visit www.esrcheck.com/wordpress/tag/fair-credit-reporting-act-fcra/.  To learn more about ESR, please call toll free 888.999.4474 or visit www.esrcheck.com.

NOTE: Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) does not provide or offer legal services or legal advice of any kind or nature. Any information on this website is for educational purposes only.

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