Wave of Employment Class Actions Place Employers at Risk
By Chris Olmsted, Esq., Ogletree Deakins
For most employers, implementing a compliant background check process involves the interplay of state and federal statutes, including the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), state mini-FCRAs, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (particularly the April 2012 EEOC Guidance), state workplace discrimination laws, and state and municipal Ban the Box (and related) statutes.
A new wave of plaintiffs’ filings against employers alleging violations under the FCRA makes compliance even more important.
The FCRA requires that employers provide applicants and employees with specific disclosures prior to obtaining a consumer report from a consumer reporting agency. These disclosures must be “clear and conspicuous” and “in a document that consists solely of” those disclosures. These requirements are at the heart of the recent lawsuit filings. Damages for violations can vary from between $100 and $1000 for each background check performed in violation of this requirement. As a result, employers must ensure that their background check forms are compliant under this and other legal requirements.
For help in complying with the various, ever-evolving federal and state requirements, Ogletree Deakins has developed O-D Comply: Background Checks, an innovative subscription that provides employers with plain-English, legally-compliant background check forms, letters, and standards during the life of the subscription. For questions, additional details, or subscription information, contact Chris Olmsted.