Home Depot Faces FCRA Class Action Lawsuit Over Background Check Consent Forms

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Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

On August 4, 2017, a class action lawsuit filed in California federal court against Home Depot USA Inc. claimed the home improvement retailer willfully violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) with allegedly improper disclosures and authorizations on background check consent forms.

The complaint claims background check consent forms that allegedly authorized Home Depot to screen applicants included a liability waiver. Under FCRA section 1681b(b)(2)(A), employers procuring a background check report for employment purposes must make sure that:

  • (i) a clear and conspicuous disclosure has been made in writing to the consumer at any time before the report is procured or caused to be procured, in a document that consists solely of the disclosure, that a consumer report may be obtained for employment purposes; and
  • (ii) the consumer has authorized in writing (which authorization may be made on the document referred to in clause (i)) the procurement of the report by that person.

The Plaintiff, Katherine Saltzberg, claims she signed a background check consent form when applying to work for Lifetime Solutions Inc. – a water treatment company that offers services to Home Depot customers – and had to sign the waiver as a condition of the background check.

Saltzberg claims the waiver was illegal and authorization improper under the FCRA and wants to represent a nationwide class of job applicants who signed a Home depot background check disclosure form in the last five years. Fines for FCRA violations range from $100 to $1,000 per violation.

The complaint states: Defendant knew that its background check disclosure and authorization forms should not include extraneous information that is prohibited by the FCRA, and acted in deliberate disregard of its obligations and the rights of Plaintiff and other class members.

A copy of the complaint for KATHERINE SALTZBERG vs. HOME DEPOT U.S.A., INC., Case Number 2:17-CV-05798, filed in the United States District Court Central District of California on August 4, 2017, is available at www.unitedstatescourts.org/federal/cacd/685800/1-0.html.

Enacted in 1970, the FCRA promotes the accuracy, fairness, and privacy of consumer information contained in the files of consumer reporting agencies (CRAs) and protects consumers from the willful or negligent inclusion of inaccurate information in their reports.

NOTE: Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) reminds readers that allegations alone made in lawsuits are not proof that a business or person(s) violated any law, rule, or regulation.

ESR Whitepapers Examine Causes of FCRA Lawsuits

In response to the rising trend of class action lawsuits for alleged violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) founder and CEO Attorney Lester Rosen, author of “The Safe Hiring Manual,” has written two complimentary whitepapers.

“Common Ways Prospective or Current Employees Sue Employers Under the FCRA” includes nine reasons why employers face FCRA lawsuits from applicants and employees. The whitepaper is at www.esrcheck.com/Whitepapers/Ways-Employees-Sue-Employers-Under-FCRA/.

Rosen also wrote “Common Ways Consumer Reporting Agencies are Sued Under the FCRA” that describes eighteen practices that can give rise to class action lawsuits against CRAs. The whitepaper is at www.esrcheck.com/Whitepapers/Ways-CRAs-Sued-Under-FCRA/.

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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