Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn
A class action lawsuit filed by a Florida man claims Home Depot USA violated the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) when conducting background checks on potential employees by not making the proper disclosures required by the FCRA to job applicants, according to a report from Top Class Actions.
Plaintiff Michael Hamilton claims he signed a disclosure form authorizing defendant Home Depot to conduct a background check when he applied for a job in June 2016. Top Class Actions reports the FCRA requires employers to satisfy certain disclosure requirements when procuring background check reports:
The FCRA says the required disclosures must be “clear and conspicuous” and “made in writing to the consumer at any time before the report is procured or caused to be procured.” The disclosures must also be made in a “stand-alone” document, one that consists only of information about the disclosure.
According to Hamilton, the disclosure form contained “extraneous provisions” in addition to those that purported to authorize the background check. He says these extraneous provisions left him confused about the nature and scope of the background check and about his rights under the FCRA.
The Home Depot class action lawsuit for alleged FCRA violations states: If Plaintiff was aware Defendant had presented him with an unlawful disclosure form, Plaintiff would not have authorized Defendant to procure a consumer report and dig deep into his personal, private and confidential information.
The class action lawsuit is Hamilton v. Home Depot USA Inc., Case No. 8:17-cv-02468, in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida. The complete report is at https://topclassactions.com/lawsuit-settlements/lawsuit-news/824315-home-depot-class-action-background-check-violate-federal-law/.
In October 2017, ESR News reported that a California federal judge granted a Motion to Dismiss a proposed class action lawsuit against Home Depot that claimed the home improvement retailer violated the FCRA by failing to make proper disclosures and failing to obtain proper authorization when screening.
In the three-page order dismissing the case, U.S. District Court Judge Gary Klausner explained that the lawsuit brought by lead plaintiff Katherine Saltzberg failed to demonstrate actual harm and did not allege a “concrete” injury as required under the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins.
Enacted in 1970, the FCRA is federal legislation that promotes the accuracy, fairness, and privacy of consumer information in the files of consumer reporting agencies (CRAs) and protects consumers from the willful and/or negligent inclusion of inaccurate information in their background check reports.
NOTE: Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) reminds readers that allegations alone made in class action lawsuits are not proof that a business or person violated any law, rule, or regulation.
ESR Whitepaper Examines Reasons FCRA Lawsuits
Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) founder and CEO Attorney Lester Rosen has written a whitepaper entitled “Common Ways Prospective or Current Employees Sue Employers Under the FCRA” that shows the many reasons why employers are sued for alleged violations of the FCRA.
In the whitepaper, Rosen – author of “The Safe Hiring Manual” – explains how most employers are sued for violating simple “FCRA 101” rules that are clearly set out in the law. The complimentary whitepaper is available at www.esrcheck.com/Whitepapers/Ways-Employees-Sue-Employers-Under-FCRA/.
NOTE: Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) does not provide or offer legal services or legal advice of any kind or nature. Any information on this website is for educational purposes only.
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