Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn
Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – ‘The Background Check Authority®’ – has released a whitepaper on ‘Common Ways Consumer Reporting Agencies are Sued Under the FCRA’ showing employers the reasons why prospective employees may sue Consumer Reporting Agencies (CRAs) for alleged violations of the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). The complimentary whitepaper is at https://www.esrcheck.com/Whitepapers/.
“Keeping these potential pitfalls in mind is vital for employers when choosing a CRA to help them navigate the complex and legally-sensitive area of background screening,” Attorney Lester S. Rosen, ESR Founder and CEO and author of ‘The Safe Hiring Manual,’ explains in the whitepaper. The complete text of the FCRA and other helpful documents from government agencies can be found at https://www.esrcheck.com/Resource-Center/Legal-Compliance/.
The whitepaper states that “there is a complex web of legislation, litigation, and regulation at multiple levels that dictates specifically what CRAs can and cannot do in their background checks. That means it is of critical importance for employers to carefully select a CRA that understands and assists the employer with legal compliance. Although a CRA cannot give legal advice, a competent CRA should understand the rules and regulations governing this area and can assist the employer in recognizing potential compliance issues. CRAs and the employers they work with can be faced with lawsuits leading to expensive settlements or they could even be found liable for punitive damages if compliance is not a priority.”
The whitepaper focuses on issues representative of the types of allegations of illegal practices that can lead to costly litigation and expensive settlements. The whitepaper lists 18 common ways CRAs are sued under the FCRA including: Reporting withdrawn or incorrect charges; Providing repetitive information; Failing to conduct a timely reinvestigation; Failing to provide consumers with a summary of their rights; Providing legally defective forms to an employer, and; Not properly training employees on FCRA requirements.
The whitepaper explains that part of the reason that FCRA class action lawsuits make a tempting target is that the recovery can be enormous. Under the FCRA, a class action lawsuit can ask for damages in an amount of up to $1,000 per person subject to a faulty background check report if the violations are deemed “willful.” For an employer or screening firm that handles a large volume, that $1,000 per person subject adds up quickly along with attorneys’ fees and court costs.
In addition to the whitepaper, Employment Screening Resources (ESR) will present a complimentary webinar hosted by Rosen titled ‘Common Ways Consumer Reporting Agencies are Sued Under the FCRA’ on Tuesday, May 12, 2015 / 11:00 AM to 12:00 Noon PM PT. To register, visit http://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6893115836185261825. For more information about ESR, call 888.999.4474 or visit https://www.esrcheck.com/Sales.
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