In a class action case against Dollar General Stores, a federal court in Virginia is being asked to approve a settlement reached between the parties for $4 million. In the case against this retail giant, the store was accused of conducting employment background checks without Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”) compliance.
This case began when two plaintiffs, Jonathan Marcum and Jackie Lewis, alleged that the company violated the FCRA when they submitted employment applications. As required by the Act, Dollar General failed to provide the parties with timely notice that they were conducting a background check of the applicants’ credit reports. The plaintiffs alleged that when they applied with the company for employment, Dollar General failed to provide them with a disclosure and authorization paperwork prior to obtaining the plaintiffs’ background report and failed to provide pre-adverse action notification prior to taking adverse action against the applicants, both requirements under the FCRA.
These requirements are necessary steps during the employment process to allow an applicant the opportunity to review his or her report and ensure its accuracy before an employer decides whether or not to hire the applicant based on information contained in his or her report.
Without consent of the plaintiffs, Dollar General accessed Marcum and Lewis’ background reports and then made a decision not to hire the two applicants based on information contained in their reports. After making this decision, Dollar General then failed to provide Marcum and Lewis with notice of this decision and did not provide them with a copy of their consumer reports.
In their complaint, the Marcum and Lewis, representing the class, alleged that they were denied employment with Dollar General based on the information contained in their reports; that this decision not to hire them was made prior to providing them a copy of the report and a summary of their rights under the FCRA, which explained their right to review their report and dispute any inaccurate information; and lastly, even though Dollar General did eventually send a copy of the Summary of Rights, the copy was outdated.
Dollar General agreed to the settlement amount of $4 million which will include a payment to a group of class members, but more importantly will require the retail giant to update its background check notification policies to ensure compliance.
If you believe your rights have been violated under the FCRA during the employment process and you would like to discuss your situation with a licensed attorney, contact SmithMarco P.C. for a completely free case review.