A tenant screening company that background checks tenants for rental housing has agreed to pay $150,000 to settle a class action lawsuit over its screening practices, according to a report from the Associated Press (AP) on the Bloomberg Businessweek website. The complete report is available at http://www.businessweek.com/ap/2013-09-18/150k-settlement-in-lawsuit-over-background-checks.
The AP reports that the tenant screening company, Yardi Systems Inc., did not admit to any wrongdoing under the settlement but will pay $400 to each of the plaintiffs plus $32,600 in attorney fees and other costs. The lawsuit was filed by a woman in Kent, Washington who was denied rental housing based on drug convictions well over seven years old. Under Washington law, tenant background checks should only include cases where the conviction, sentence, or parole period occurs within the past seven years.
According to the AP, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Washington along with two other firms took on the case that represented 273 people denied housing in Washington state based on old criminal convictions. Under the settlement that was given preliminary approval in King County Superior Court, the tenant screening company also agreed to modify its screening practices to prevent similar cases.
“The type of allegations in this case underscores once again that background checks are not merely a data vending operation where an employer or landlord access database information,” says Attorney Lester Rosen, Founder and CEO of Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) and author of ‘The Safe Hiring Manual.’ “The primary job of a consumer reporting agency is not only accurate data, but information that is legally compliant and consistent with all applicable state and federal laws. This is another reason why employers should consider working with screening firms that are accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners.”
Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – ‘The Background Check Authority®’ – is a nationwide background screening firm accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) as an Employment Screening Agency in the United States. For more information about pre-employment background checks, visit http://www.ESRcheck.com or call Toll Free 888.999.4474.
About Employment Screening Resources® (ESR):
Founded by safe hiring expert Attorney Les Rosen in 1997, Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – ‘The Background Check Authority®’– provides accurate and actionable information that empowers employers to make informed hiring decisions for the benefit of their organizations, employees, and the public. CEO Rosen literally wrote the book on background checks with “The Safe Hiring Manual” and ESR is accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS), a distinction held by a small percent of screening firms. Employers choosing ESR know they have selected an agency meeting the highest industry standards. To learn more about ESR, visit http://www.esrcheck.com or call toll free 888.999.4474.
About ESR News: The Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) News blog – ESR News – provides employment screening information for employers, recruiters, and jobseekers on a variety of topics including credit reports, criminal records, data privacy, discrimination, E-Verify, jobs reports, legal updates, negligent hiring, workplace violence, and use of search engines and social network sites for background checks. For more information about ESR News or to send comments or questions, please email ESR News Editor Thomas Ahearn at [email protected]. To subscribe to the ESR News Blog Feed, visit http://www.esrcheck.com/wordpress/feed/. To subscribe to the complimentary ESRcheck Report monthly newsletter, please visit http://www.esrcheck.com/Newsletter/.