2021FCRA
Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)

Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

On August 13, 2021, the United States District Court, Middle District of Florida certified an “Adverse Action Class” in the class action lawsuit LYTTLE v. TRULIEVE, INC. that claimed a cannabis company took adverse action against employees and applicants based on background checks in a way that violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). The cannabis company settled the lawsuit for an undisclosed amount, according to court filings.

Plaintiff Lyttle applied for employment with defendant Trulieve and received a conditional job offer. Trulieve then rescinded the job offer based on the contents of his “consumer report,” a term that the FCRA uses to define a background check. Before rescinding the job offer, Trulieve allegedly did not provide Lyttle with notice of its intent to rescind the employment offer, a copy of his background check, or a summary of his rights under the FCRA.

Under FCRA § 1681b(b)(3)(A), when using a consumer report for employment purposes, before taking adverse action based in whole or in part on the report, the person intending to take adverse action shall provide to the consumer to whom the report relates: (i) a copy of the report; and (ii) a copy of the document “A Summary of Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act” prescribed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

Trulieve allegedly admitted they had mistakenly denied employment to Lyttle based on his consumer report. If Trulieve had provided him with a pre-adverse action notice, a copy of his consumer report, and a summary of rights, Lyttle claimed he could have clarified any confusion, but he was not given an opportunity to address any concerns with his consumer report or state his case. So Lyttle brought a claim against Trulieve under the FCRA.

The proposed “Adverse Action Class” consisted of: All Trulieve applicants and employees in the United States against whom adverse employment action was taken, based, in whole or in part, on information contained in a consumer report obtained within five years preceding the filing of this action through the date of final judgment, who were not provided notice, a copy of their report or summary of rights pursuant to § 1681b(b)(3)(A).

However, the Court certified the following Class: All Trulieve applicants and employees in the United States against whom adverse employment action was taken, based, in whole or in part, on information contained in a consumer report obtained within two years preceding the filing of this action through the date of final judgment, who were not provided notice, a copy of their report or a summary of rights pursuant to 15 U.S.C. § 1681b(b)(3)(A).

The FCRA 15 U.S.C. § 1681 was enacted by Congress in 1970 to promote the accuracy, fairness, and privacy of consumer information contained in the files of Consumer Reporting Agencies (CRAs), protect consumers from the willful and/or negligent inclusion of inaccurate information in their consumer reports, and regulate the collection, dissemination, and use of consumer information, including consumer credit information.

Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – a leading global background check firm ranked the #1 screening provider by HRO Today in 2020 – offers a Cannabis Industry Background Screening Solution since cannabis businesses have an interest in protecting their product from theft and are concerned about providing a safe workplace for their employees and the public. To learn more about ESR, visit www.esrcheck.com.

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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