Compliance News Flash - December 2020 #1

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Arnall Golden Gregory LLP is pleased to provide you with the Compliance News Flash, which includes current news briefs relevant to background screening, immigration and data privacy, for the benefit and interest of our clients as well as employers and consumer reporting agencies generally.

  • The Federal Trade Commission settled with a provider of tenant screening reports for alleged violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). The $4.25 million settlement relates to allegations that the company reported obsolete information in violation of section 605(a) of the FCRA (meaning non-conviction information older than 7 years) as well as failure to follow reasonable procedures to assurance maximum possible accuracy in violation of section 607(b) of the FCRA. The settlement could have ramifications for resellers of data. Click here and here to read more.
  • The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has extended the validity of certain Forms I-797 until February 1, 2021. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) had previously issued a notice indicating that certain Forms I-797, Notice of Action, were acceptable for Form I-9 employment eligibility verification purposes until December 1, 2020. This flexibility means new employees and current employees requiring reverification who are waiting for their Employment Authorization Document (EAD) may continue to present a Form I-797 as a List C document. Employers making use of this flexibility should write “Employment Authorization Ext Until 02/01/2021” in the Additional Information box in Section 2 of Form I-9. By Feb. 1, 2021, employers must reverify employees who presented this Form I-797 as a List C document. Click here to read more.
  • The Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Kathleen Kraninger, indicated in a letter dated November 9, 2020, that the CFPB will continue to follow the guidance (previously reported here) it issued on April 1, 2020 easing dispute deadlines under the FCRA in light of the coronavirus pandemic. Kraninger states in the letter “the Bureau does not intend to cite in an examination or bring an enforcement action against firms who exceed the deadlines to investigate disputes – but only as long as efforts are made in good faith to do so as quickly as possible….the Bureau has been and will evaluate individually the efforts and circumstances of each furnisher and CRA in determining if it made good faith efforts to investigate disputes as quickly as possible.” This should offer some flexibility to background screeners making good faith efforts to comply with the 30-day requirement under section 611 of the FCRA but who are encountering issues due to COVID-19. Click here to read the letter to NCLC.
  • The Department of Justice (DOJ) has filed a lawsuit against Facebook alleging Facebook has discriminated against U.S. workers in favor of H-1B visa workers and other temporary visa holders. The lawsuit alleges that Facebook refused to recruit, consider, or hire qualified and available U.S. workers for over 2,600 positions that Facebook, instead, reserved for temporary visa holders it sponsored for permanent work authorization (or “green cards”) in connection with the permanent labor certification process (PERM). What is worrisome about this lawsuit is that it appears Facebook sought to follow the recruitment requirements spelled out in the regulations (20 C.F.R. § 656.17), but was nonetheless penalized. Click here to read more.
  • Introduced on September 14, 2020, the Open Courts Act of 2020 (H.R. 8235) would, among other things, modernize and phase out user fees for PACER. As Congress works to wrap up the year, those in the background screening industry who wish to support this bill, can express their support to their member of Congress. Click here to read more.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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