empty courtroom jury areaNearly 150 class-action lawsuits citing employment screeningviolations have been successfully brought against employers orfirms that provide background-check reports. (Photo:iStock)

|

Employers listen up: If you want to review a job candidate'scredit history, criminal records and other personal information ona background-check report, you must first obtainwritten consent from the candidate, per the employment provisionsof the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

|

And if you find something you don't like that causes you tothink twice about hiring that person, you must first give them timeto dispute any inaccuracies in the report.

|

Or else you might get slapped with a lawsuit, and quite possiblya class-action lawsuit – just like these employers did in Good JobsFirst's Violation Tracker, billed as the firstwide-ranging database of corporate crime and misconduct that nowincludes such cases.

|

Indeed, over the past decade nearly 150 class-action lawsuitsciting employment screening violations have been successfullybrought against employers or firms that provide background-checkreports, according to Good Jobs First. To date, employerscollectively have paid $174 million in damages toplaintiffs, and background-check providers collectively have paidanother $152 million.

|

“At a time when employers increasingly use background-checkreports to screen job candidates, class-action lawsuits have becomean important tool to ensure that the rights of applicants areprotected,” says Good Jobs First research director PhilipMattera.

|

More than 40 employers have paid out class-action settlementsof $1 million or more since 2011, with WellsFargo & Co. in 2016 paying one of the largest settlements — $12million to thousands of applicants, according to the ViolationTracker.

|

Other large payouts by well-known companies include Target Corp.($8.5 million), Uber Technologies Inc. ($7.5 million), Amazon.comInc. ($5 million), The Home Depot Inc. ($3 million) and Domino'sPizza Inc. ($2.5 million).

|

The FCRA cases are the fourth compilation of employment-relatedclass actions to be added to Good Jobs First's Violation Tracker,following ones covering wage theft, workplace discrimination andretirement-plan abuses, Mattera says. The case information wasassembled by the Corporate Research Project of Good Jobs First.

|

With the addition of the FCRA cases and the updating of datafrom more than 40 federal regulatory agencies and the U.S.Department of Justice, the Violation Tracker now contains 369,000civil and criminal entries with total penalties of $470billion.

|

READ MORE:

|

Using background checks to hire and retainemployees

|

In today's job market, criminal record lessimportant than employment record

Complete your profile to continue reading and get FREE access to BenefitsPRO, part of your ALM digital membership.

  • Critical BenefitsPRO information including cutting edge post-reform success strategies, access to educational webcasts and videos, resources from industry leaders, and informative Newsletters.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM, BenefitsPRO magazine and BenefitsPRO.com events
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including ThinkAdvisor.com and Law.com
NOT FOR REPRINT

© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from www.copyright.com. All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.

Katie Kuehner-Hebert

Katie Kuehner-Hebert is a freelance writer based in Running Springs, Calif. She has more than three decades of journalism experience, with particular expertise in employee benefits and other human resource topics.