Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn
A Pennsylvania federal judge has approved a settlement for $2.38 million in a class action lawsuit that alleged a retail theft database used for background checks wrongfully labeled job seekers as criminals even if they were not convicted of a crime, according to a report by TopClassActions.com.
TopClassActions.com reports LexisNexis Risk Solutions Inc. agreed to suspend its Esteem retail theft database under terms of the settlement. The company also agreed to set more stringent requirements to protect job seekers if the database is used for employment background checks in the future.
TopClassActions.com reports the two lead plaintiffs – Keesha Goode and Victoria Goodman – alleged that the background check firm distributed damaging information from their retail theft database to current and prospective employers without proper safeguards in violation the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).
According to the lawsuit, Goode was denied employment based on information contained in the retail theft database while Goodman claimed she was denied a promotion and later fired based on retail theft database information, TopClassActions.com reports. Goodman was eventually reinstated.
The two lead plaintiffs also claim they never received the “pre-adverse action notice” required by the FCRA and were denied copies of theft admission statements on which the retail theft database reports are based, TopClassActions.com reports. Neither of the two lead plaintiffs was charged with theft.
U.S. District Judge Jan E. Dubois certified two Classes in the settlement. The first Class includes job seekers who received notice that a report contained negative retail theft database information. This Class is not eligible for compensation from the settlement but will be able to file individual lawsuits.
The second Class includes job seekers who never received a copy of the report after submitting a request or initiating a dispute, TopClassActions.com reports. This Class of 2,916 people is eligible to receive checks for approximately $800 and retain the right to file individual lawsuits for damages.
A final fairness hearing for the retail theft database class action settlement has been scheduled for December 5, 2014. Case information is Goode, et al. v. LexisNexis Risk & Information Analytics Group Inc., Case No. 2:11-cv-02950, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
The full report from TopClassActions.com is available at http://www.topclassactions.com/lawsuit-settlements/lawsuit-news/36229-lexisnexis-settles-esteem-retail-theft-database-class-action-lawsuit/. Additional research is available at http://www.law360.com/articles/563583/lexisnexis-retail-workers-get-nod-for-2-38m-settlement.
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