Donald J. Dymer
In just the last few months, at least five major companies have been sued in nationwide class-actions alleging that their background screening Disclosure and Authorizations were invalid under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). The list includes: Whole Foods, UBS, Publix, Extended Stay America, and O'Reilly Auto Parts, and now Extended Stay Hotels..
Under the FCRA, the background screening Disclosure or Disclosure and Authorization must "stand alone." These lawsuits allege that the Disclosure and Authorizations used violate the FCRA's stand-alone requirement because they contain "extraneous items."
The primary item that plaintiffs' attorneys have targeted are releases of liability such as "I hereby hold harmless and release the employer and ABC Background Screening Agency from any liability related to conducting a background check on me." The plaintiff attorneys are also targeting other allegedly "extraneous" or "unnecessary" items as well.
The following case is one for the best examples:
On April 30th, a class action suit was filed in a federal district court in California against Extended Stay America Hotels, alleging violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) by failing to disclose to job applicants that it would perform background checks on them and by printing statements on its applications that would “release from all liability any persons or employers supplying background information and release Extended Stay Hotels from any liability that might result from making this investigation.”
We have a screening template that conforms to the FCRA and will be pleased to provide a copy. But in any case we urge you to review your background screening consent paperwork in light of these recent cases and to consult with legal counsel where appropriate.
Donald J Dymer MBA
Inspector Scotland Yard (Rtd)
President & CEO