A class action complaint filed against a Consumer Reporting Agency (CRA) on April 16, 2012, alleges that the Defendant reported inaccurate criminal data obtained from an “instant” criminal record search without courthouse confirmation, and also that there was allegedly no notice to the consumer who was the subject of the search. The suit also alleges that such acts were in violation of the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) that protects consumers from inaccurate or irrelevant information and failed to meet the standard of accuracy and fairness mandated by the FCRA. The Plaintiff claims that the Defendant – a CRA that collects consumer information and sells “consumer reports” that are also known as background checks – failed to meet the standard of accuracy and fairness mandated by the FCRA, which requires all CRAs that report criminal conviction and other information to employers adopt and implement procedures that “assure maximum possible accuracy of the information concerning the individual about whom the report relates.” The Plaintiff claims that when she applied for a job, the CRA:
- Reported to two different employers that used their “instant” database that the Plaintiff had been arrested and charged with felony offenses in Los Angeles County, but failed to report the felony charge had been dismissed and a misdemeanor conviction had been legally expunged;
- Provided her potential employer with outdated, incomplete, and inaccurate information regarding her alleged criminal record;
- Failed to provide timely notice that such information had been reported; and
- Caused Plaintiff to be denied valuable employment opportunities.
- Twice failed to notify Plaintiff contemporaneously of the fact that public record information about her was being reported;
- Failed to maintain strict procedures designed to insure such information was complete and up-to-date; and
- Failed to utilize reasonable procedures to assure maximum possible accuracy of the adverse information it reported to her potential.
- At the time such public record information is reported to the user of such consumer report, notify the consumer of the fact that public record information is being reported by the consumer reporting agency, together with the name and address of the person to whom such information is being reported; or
- Maintain strict procedures designed to insure that whenever public record information which is likely to have an adverse effect on a consumer’s ability to obtain employment is reported it is complete and up to date. For purposes of this paragraph, items of public record relating to arrests, indictments, convictions, suits, tax liens, and outstanding judgments shall be considered up to date if the current public record status of the item at the time of the report is reported.