Tag Archives: Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)

Court Ruling Underscores Best Practices for Handling Consumer Disputes about Accuracy of Criminal Records in Background Checks

By Lester S. Rosen, Attorney at Law and CEO of Employment Screening Resources® (ESR)

court cases A ruling by a federal judge in a case in Minnesota on March 26, 2013 underscores the need for background screening firms to carefully review their processes for re-investigation of consumer disputes. Continue reading

Data Brokers Settle FTC Charges of FCRA Violations

Written By Thomas Ahearn

ESR News BlogTwo data brokers that sell public record information about consumers have agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission (FTC) charges that they violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) by allegedly providing reports about consumers to users such as prospective employers and landlords without taking reasonable steps to make sure that they were accurate or that their users had a permissible reason to have those reports. A press release from the FTC about the settlements is available at http://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2014/04/two-data-brokers-settle-ftc-charges-they-sold-consumer-data. Continue reading

Class Action Lawsuit Over Background Checks

Written By Thomas Ahearn

homepage-legalA former independent contractor fired for failing a background check has filed a class action lawsuit in New Jersey federal court against UBS Financial Services Inc. for alleged systematic violations of the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) by failing to provide copies of background checks and including illegal language in consent forms. The class action lawsuit PLASTERS v. UBS FINANCIAL SERVICES, INC. is available at http://ia700702.us.archive.org/33/items/gov.uscourts.njd.301246/gov.uscourts.njd.301246.1.0.pdf. Continue reading

Background Check Forms Under Increased Scrutiny

Written By Thomas Ahearn

homepage-legalA federal court decision from a District Court in Pennsylvania granted summary judgment in favor of a class of more than 1,800 job applicants and ruled the employer’s background check consent and disclosure form was improper since the form contained a waiver of liability even though such language is a common practice among some businesses. The ruling in the case of Reardon v. Closetmaid Corporation is available at http://docs.justia.com/cases/federal/district-courts/pennsylvania/pawdce/2:2008cv01730/89928/157. Continue reading

Background Check Lawsuit Claims FCRA Violations

Written By Thomas Ahearn

homepage-legalIn a class action suit alleging Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) violations, a federal judge has ruled that Canon Business Solutions faces additional discovery into claims the company relied on criminal background checks without letting employees or job applicants dispute the findings, according a Courthouse News Service report available at http://www.courthousenews.com/2014/03/03/65785.htm. Continue reading

Employers Need Caution with Background Check Laws

Written By Thomas Ahearn

home-applicant-generated-report-systemTo help employers understand background check laws and regulations, Attorney Lester Rosen, Founder and CEO of Employment Screening Resources® (ESR), will present a live 60 minute audio conference for AudioSolutionz titled ‘Extreme Caution Advised: Dealing with Federal and State Laws Regulating Pre-Employment Screening and Safe Hiring’ on Friday, March 7, 2014 at 10:00 A.M Pacific. For more information, visit http://www.audiosolutionz.com/hr-compliance-employment/safe-hiring.html. Continue reading

Class Action Lawsuit Alleges Natural Food Retailer Violated FCRA with Background Checks

A class action lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California alleges Whole Foods Market, a natural and organic food retailer, obtained background checks on job applicants using consent forms that were not legally valid in violation of the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), according to a report from TopClassActions.com available at http://www.topclassactions.com/lawsuit-settlements/lawsuit-news/16770-whole-foods-hit-class-action-lawsuit-illegal-background-checks/. Continue reading

Court Rules Job Seeker May Sue Data Aggregator for Inaccurate Information

The San Francisco, CA-based Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has ruled an unemployed job seeker may sue a data aggregator that inaccurately described him as wealthy and well educated by alleging a violation of the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) “without showing actual harm.” The opinion of the court is available at http://cdn.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/opinions/2014/02/04/11-56843.pdf. Continue reading

Class Action Lawsuit Challenges Legality of Retail Theft Databases in California for Background Checks

The use of a “Retail Theft Contributory Database” in California is being challenged in a class action lawsuit filed in federal Court in San Francisco on January 31, 2013.  The lawsuit alleges that this type of database violates both federal and state laws by providing information to retailers about detentions for suspicion of theft or fraud but did not result in a conviction. The lawsuit seeks damages of up to $1,000 for every California consumer that was the subject of a negative report within the last two years where there was not a conviction, as well as legal fees and other damages. Continue reading

Use of Commercial Criminal Databases Becoming More Controversial as Employers Face More Risk when Screening

The use of commercial criminal databases and cheap “do it yourself” background check web sites will be the focus of increased scrutiny and controversy in 2014 as employers face more risk when screening job applicants as the demand for accuracy in background check reports rises. This is Trend Number Three of the 7th Annual Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) ‘Top Ten Background Check Trends’ for 2014. For more information about the trends, please visit http://www.esrcheck.com/ESR-Top-Ten-Background-Check-Trends. Continue reading