An employer’s obligations under the Fair Credit Reporting Act are triggered when it obtains a “consumer report” from a “consumer reporting agency” for use in making an employment decision. A federal court in the Middle District of Florida is set to rule on a summary judgment motion clarifying whether a business that transmits public records unaltered to a prospective employer is a “consumer reporting agency”.
Continue Reading New Litigation May Further Clarify the FCRA’s Definition of “Consumer Reporting Agency”

A hotly contested ruling in a Fair Credit Reporting Act class action case will soon be appealed to the Supreme Court of the United States.  The Ninth Circuit in Ramirez v. TransUnion LLC, Case No. 17-17244, recently granted the parties’ Joint Motion to Stay the Mandate, seeking to stay the Ninth Circuit’s mandate pending TransUnion’s filing of a petition for writ of certiorari in the Supreme Court.  The Motion to Stay comes soon after the court denied TransUnion’s Petition for Rehearing or Rehearing En Banc regarding the Ninth Circuit’s decision in Ramirez v. TransUnion LLC, 951 F.3d 1008 (9th Cir. 2020).
Continue Reading TransUnion to Seek Supreme Court Review After Ninth Circuit Finds Class Members Had Standing and Partially Upholds Punitive Damages Award

For the first time in the Ninth Circuit, the Court of Appeals addressed the issue of whether every class member in a class action lawsuit needs “standing” to recover damages at the final judgment stage, and found in the affirmative.  In Ramirez v. TransUnion LLC, No. 17-17244, 2020 WL 946973 (9th Cir. Feb. 27, 2020), a class of 8,185 consumers brought a class action against the credit reporting agency TransUnion LLC pursuant to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, alleging that TransUnion, knowing that its practice was unlawful, incorrectly placed terrorist alerts on the front page of consumers’ credit reports and later sent the consumers misleading and incomplete disclosures about the alerts and how to remove them. 
Continue Reading For the First Time in the Ninth Circuit, the Court Finds That All Class Members in a Class Action Must Have Standing to Recover Damages

On November 22, 2019, the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York against Sterling Infosystems, Inc. regarding allegations that it violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act in providing criminal background checks to employers.  Sterling is a “consumer reporting agency” as defined by the FCRA, which provides background check results to employers when requested.
Continue Reading Background Check Vendors Beware: the CFPB’s Authority to Enforce the FCRA Applies to You Too

On July 11, 2019, the House Financial Services Committee, led by Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), considered The Restricting Use of Credit Checks For Employment Decisions Act as one of four bills designed to reform the Fair Credit Reporting Act and the credit reporting system.


Continue Reading Why Employment Credit Checks May Soon be a Thing of the Past

Employers failing to strictly comply with FCRA requirements in conducting background checks continue to face expensive consequences.  On November 16, 2018, the United States District Court for the Southern District of California approved a $1.2 million settlement of a class action lawsuit alleging violations of the FCRA filed against the popular pet supplies chain Petco.
Continue Reading Failing to Properly Conduct Background Checks Continues To Be a Million-Dollar Mistake

A magistrate judge in the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon recently made findings and recommendations to dismiss a purported class action against Kroger subsidiary Fred Meyer.  The suit alleges that the retailer’s background check process for prospective employees violates the Fair Credit Reporting Act by both failing to properly disclose that a report will be run, and failing to comply with the statute’s procedural requirements before taking adverse action against an applicant.
Continue Reading The Spokeo Chronicles: Another Tentative Background Check Win for Kroger Subsidiary