Fair Credit Reporting Act Background Checks

News & Analysis as of

New York City Bars Employers from Considering Criminal History before Extending a Job Offer

On June 29, 2015, Mayor de Blasio signed the Fair Chance Act, a new law that generally prohibits New York City employers from discriminating against job applicants with a criminal record and that prohibits inquiries about...more

Magistrate Judge Rules LinkedIn’s “Reference Search” Does Not Violate Fair Credit Reporting Act

As we discussed in a previous post, a class action lawsuit (Sweet, et al. v. LinkedIn) was filed last year against LinkedIn in California based on allegations that the reference reports LinkedIn generates for premium...more

Background Screening Companies May Now Report Convictions Older Than Seven Years in Nevada

Under the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), background screening companies (or consumer reporting agencies) are generally prohibited from reporting certain types of derogatory information that the FCRA considers to be...more

Background Checks? That is the Question

Has your company decided yet whether it will conduct criminal background or credit checks? If you are already using that tool as part of your job screening process, are you keeping up with legal developments in every city,...more

Employers & The Fair Credit Reporting Act: Has Sweet v. LinkedIn Signaled the Next Wave of Social Media Driven Change?

Most employers are at least generally familiar with the The Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”). FCRA protects consumers whose information is disclosed by consumer reporting agencies. In the employment context, FCRA regulates...more

N.D. Cal. Judge Puts a Check on Plaintiff’s Novel LinkedIn Background Check Theory Under FCRA

The federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) has recently spawned an unprecedented number of class action complaints against employers for allegedly failing to comply with FCRA’s hyper-technical disclosure and consent...more

The Fair Credit Reporting Act: Why background checks are fueling the latest wave of class actions

Many employers have third-party services run background checks on applicants, new hires, or existing employees. Many of these employers utilize these services to minimize the risk of claims of negligent hiring or...more

Spokeo v. Robins: The Case That Has Silicon Valley Buzzing, Even Though Plaintiffs Likely Don’t Have a Leg To “Stand” On

On April 27, 2015, the United States Supreme Court granted certiorari in Spokeo v. Robins and will soon decide whether a plaintiff must allege more than just the bare violation of a federal statute in order to invoke Article...more

LinkedIn Reference Search Not Subject To Fair Credit Reporting Act

Finding that LinkedIn’s “Reference Search” function was not subject to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), a Northern California federal district court dismissed a putative class action filed on behalf of job applicants who...more

Claims Dismissed: Social Media Site's Reference Search Not a Background Check

Good news for employers using social media to vet job applicants: A Federal District Court recently ruled the technology used in LinkedIn's Reference Search does not constitute a “consumer background check” of employees and...more

California Court Dismisses FCRA Class Action Against LinkedIn

In recent years, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) has become the focus of increasing litigation. By way of background, FCRA regulates consumer reporting agencies (CRAs) that assemble or evaluate “consumer reports” for...more

New York City employers now restricted from using employee or applicant credit history in making employment decisions

Yesterday, Mayor Bill de Blasio signed a bill making it unlawful for New York City employers to use an employee’s or applicant’s credit history for employment purposes. The law, which amends the New York City Human Rights...more

When is a Background Search not a Background Search?

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) was enacted to insure that consumer reporting agencies act with “fairness, impartiality, and respect for the consumer’s right to privacy.” But one federal court held recently that...more

Employers Beware: You Cannot Always Trust Third-Party Provided Background Check Disclosure Forms

Does your company run background checks on its employees? Do you pay a third-party to run the reports and trust them to get it right? You may not be as safe as you think you are. Just ask Whole Foods, Paramount...more

EEOC and Private Plaintiffs Continue Aggressive Litigation Attacking Background Checks

As part of its focus on eliminating barriers to hiring, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) continues to mount an aggressive litigation strategy targeting background-check policies that it believes have a...more

Employers: What You Need to Know if You Conduct Background Checks - Despite its name the FCRA does not just apply to credit...

Your decision to hire a new employee or promote an existing one may depend on the findings of a background check. Did you know that you need to comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (the “FCRA”) if you perform background...more

Best Practices in Social Media for Employers

As the use and reach of social media continues to increase and evolve, employers should be aware of the latest risks and issues to consider during the recruiting and hiring process. The results of an August 2014...more

Employers Running Background Checks: Top 10 Tips to Avoid Joining the Fair Credit Reporting Act Litigation “Club”

What do Whole Foods, Chuck E. Cheese, Michael’s Stores, Dollar General, Panera, Publix, and K-Mart have in common? Each of these companies has faced lawsuits (including class actions) under the Fair Credit Reporting Act...more

Class Action Trends in Virginia: Employment Background Reports

Forty percent of the consumer class actions filed in Virginia in 2014 alleging violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”) relate to background reports for employment purposes. With one exception, all of the cases...more

Background Checks Increasingly Leading to Litigation

Background checks are increasingly leading to class action lawsuits alleging violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act ("FCRA"). Many employers utilize background checks that include "consumer reports" during the hiring...more

"'Ban the Box' Initiatives: Removing Conviction Histories From Employment Applications"

The use of criminal records in the hiring process has received a great deal of attention in recent years. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued guidance in 2012 requiring employers to demonstrate that conviction...more

Trouble in the Magic Kingdom: Disney Finds Itself the Villain in This Fairytale

Disney is known for its fairytales and happy endings. Usually its adorable characters and feel-good plots earn it wide acclaim. But recently, a California judge agreed with the plaintiff, in Roger L. Culberson II v. The Walt...more

Plaintiffs' Class Action Claims Target Background Checks

Earlier this week, the arts and crafts retailer Michael’s Stores, Inc. received notice of a new class action lawsuit challenging its use of applicant background checks. The lawsuit alleges that the retailer failed to provide...more

New Year: Resolve, Review, Revise

The new year is a time for reflection. With that reflection often comes a resolve for change, from small modifications of some old habits to wholesale new beginnings and everything in between. From a business perspective,...more

Background Checks Headline in 2014

In 2014, background checks were a hot topic in state and local legislatures. Before this year, only 8 jurisdictions in the country had passed laws preventing private employers from asking job candidates about their criminal...more

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