Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)

Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

In July of 2019, consumer litigation involving the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) – a federal law that helps ensure the accuracy, fairness, and privacy of personal information – rose 15.4 percent from the previous month, with 510 cases compared to 442 cases, according to statistics from WebRecon LLC.

WebRecon also reports that FCRA consumer litigation rose 33.9 percent in July of 2019 over July of 2018, with 510 cases compared to 381 cases, and rose 6.5 percent year to date with 2882 cases from January 2019 through July 2019 compared to 2705 cases from January 2018 through July 2018.

In fact, FCRA consumer litigation has trended up in the past five years, with 2882 cases from January 2019 to July 2019, 2705 cases from January 2018 to July 2018, 2420 cases from January 2017 to July 2017, 2191 cases from January 2016 to July 2016, and 1815 cases from January 2015 to July 2015.

Employers have paid out $174 million over the past decade to settle class action lawsuits that claim they violated the FCRA when conducting background checks on job applicants, according to a blog that examined a compilation of court records assembled by non-profit resource center Good Jobs First.

The $174 million total was derived from 146 successful class action lawsuits brought under the employment provisions of the FCRA against companies that use background check reports. Companies providing those reports have paid out another $152 million when they have been sued directly.

The fact that FCRA lawsuits still target employers even after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled plaintiffs must prove “concrete injury” for alleged “bare” violations of a federal statute is one of the “ESR Top Ten Background Check Trends” selected by background check firm Employment Screening Resources® (ESR).

Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) also offers two complimentary white papers – “Common Ways Prospective or Current Employees Sue Employers Under the FCRA” and “Common Ways Consumer Reporting Agencies are Sued Under the FCRA” – to help employers avoid FCRA class action lawsuits.

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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