A Florida man is suing Waffle House claiming it unfairly used background checks and denied his employment application. What does this have to do with Credit Reports? The short answer is that the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) covers those, too.
Passed in 1970, the FCRA's stated purpose was to promote the accuracy, fairness, and privacy of consumer information contained in background check reports, including protecting consumers from the willful and negligent inclusion of inaccurate information in their reports. To promote this, the users of these reports had to tell people their rights before they agreed to pull them, and after they were used in a way that hurt them. (Like being denied credit or a job.)
Mr. Jones, the Plaintiff in this case, alleges that in December 2014, he applied for employment at a Waffle House who used a company called PublicData to run a background check on him. In his complaint, he says that Waffle House denied him employment due to this background check, which contained inaccuracies. Mr. Jones said that Waffle House did not provide proper disclosures prior to running a background check on him, did not provide him of a copy of his background report prior to taking adverse actions, did not provide a separate post-adverse notice to him, which all violated the FCRA.
Does this sound familiar? It does to me. I have had more than a few clients with similar stories.