Petco Reaches $1.2 Million Settlement with Job Applicants in FCRA Background Check Lawsuit

Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

Petco Animal Supplies Inc. is waiting for preliminary approval of a $1.2 million settlement with two job applicants in a class action lawsuit that claims the company violated the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) with unlawful background check policies, according to a report on the Top Class Actions website.

Top Class Actions reports plaintiffs Jacklyn Feist and Angelica Zimmer reached the settlement with Petco after two-year legal battle in the background check class action lawsuit and stated the deal provides “excellent relief that is well within the range of reasonableness and should be preliminarily approved.”

The Petco FCRA background check class action lawsuit establishes a Class of approximately 37,279 job applicants who were subjected to Petco’s allegedly unlawful background check policies. If the proposed settlement is approved, the $1.2 million settlement fund will give each Class Member an estimated $20.

Top Class Actions reports the background check class action lawsuit was filed in a California state court in May 2016 and claimed Petco violated the FCRA by not providing a separate “stand alone” document disclosing its background check policy to individuals who would undergo a background check for Petco.

The Petco background check class action lawsuit is Jacklyn Feist, et al. v. Petco Animal Supplies Inc., et al., Case No. 3:16-cv-01369-H-RNB, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California. The complete article from Top Class Actions about the settlement is available here.

Passed by Congress in 1970, the FCRA 15 U.S.C. § 1681 protects consumers from the willful and/or negligent inclusion of inaccurate information in their background check reports, and regulates the collection, dissemination, and use of consumer information, including consumer credit information.

In February 2018, ESR News reported that FCRA cases led consumer litigation filings with 422 plaintiffs – nearly 60 percent higher than in February 2017 – while Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) cases and Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) cases declined, according to WebRecon LLC.

“This showcases an unmistakable trend in recent months where FCRA has broken out of the shadows to show new strength in the consumer litigation big picture,” according to WebRecon CEO Jack Gordon. “FCRA used to be the ugly stepchild to TCPA… That trend appears to have subsided.”

The fact FCRA lawsuits still target employers even after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled plaintiffs must prove “concrete injury” for alleged “bare” violations of a federal statute like the FCRA is one of the “ESR Top Ten Background Check Trends” selected by Employment Screening Resources® (ESR).

“In no way did the Supreme Court decision in Spokeo mean employers could relax obligations for FCRA compliance,” said ESR founder and CEO Attorney Lester Rosen. “Employers must ensure they comply with the FCRA and work with a background screening firm that understands the FCRA inside and out.”

ESR Whitepapers on FCRA Background Check Lawsuits

Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) offers two complimentary whitepapers – “Common Ways Prospective or Current Employees Sue Employers Under the FCRA” and “Common Ways Consumer Reporting Agencies are Sued Under the FCRA” – to show employers how to avoid FCRA background check lawsuits.

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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