Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

A nurse in Iowa is suing a consumer reporting agency (CRA) in a U.S. District Court for allegedly costing her a job offer by violating the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) that regulates background checks conducted for employment purposes in the United States, according to a news report from the Iowa Capital Dispatch.

The Iowa Capital Dispatch reported that the woman said in her court petition she was a registered nurse for 24 years and had a valid nursing license that allowed her to practice in Iowa. In 2014, the Iowa Board of Nursing claimed she failed a drug test and her license was suspended in 2015, bit it but fully restored in 2016.

In 2021, the nurse applied for a nursing position and was extended a job offer contingent on the outcome of a background check. Her prospective employer withdrew the job offer due to the results of the background check that “allegedly failed to indicate she had a valid multistate nursing license,” The Iowa Capital Dispatch reported.

The lawsuit claimed the nurse received a copy of the background check report from the CRA and found that it indicated her license had been “suspended indefinitely” without indicating it was fully restored in 2016. She also claimed that she filed two disputes with the CRA but the company failed to respond. 

“Instead of employing reasonable procedures, as required by the Fair Credit Reporting Act, (CRA) blindly collects information from unreliable third-party vendors to repackage and sell in its own employment screening products,” the lawsuit claimed, while also alleging the CRA was “sued under the FCRA by consumers in the past.”

The FCRA protects the accuracy of consumer information in background checks. According to FCRA § 1681e(b): “Whenever a consumer reporting agency prepares a consumer report it shall follow reasonable procedures to assure maximum possible accuracy of the information concerning the individual about whom the report relates.”

The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages for “job denial, damage to her reputation, financial instability, wasted time, sleepless nights, fear of applying for jobs, and emotional distress, including mental anguish, frustration, humiliation, embarrassment, and other losses,” The Iowa Capital Dispatch reported.

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