Madison Square Garden to Pay $1.3 Million to Settle Class Action Lawsuit Over Background Check Policy

Gavel and scales.

Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

Madison Square Garden has agreed to pay $1.3 million to settle a class action lawsuit that claimed the arena “imposed too strict of requirements for criminal disclosures that had a disparate impact on minority applicants,” according to a report from the Consumer Financial Services Law Monitor.

Consumer Financial Services Law Monitor reports that “Plaintiffs Clint Millien and Felipe Kelly sued Madison Square Garden for its hiring practices relating to applicants’ failure to disclose previous criminal activity when applying for food preparation positions.” The claims are based on two theories of liability:

  • First, they contend that Madison Square Garden’s practice of revoking conditional employment offers based on a failure to disclose previous criminal history had a discriminatory impact on African-American and Latino applicants.
  • Second, they claim that Madison Square Garden routinely failed to provide applicants with copies of their background screening reports before denying them employment, as required under the Fair Credit Reporting Act and the New York Correction Law.

Madison Square Garden – which denies any wrongdoing – has “agreed to pay $519,800 in relief to putative class members and $750,000 in attorneys’ fees” and to “make substantial changes to its hiring policies,” the Consumer Financial Services Law Monitor reports.

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