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Verifile International Newsletter Issue #24

14 Aug 2017

Welcome to our August edition of the International Newsletter 2017 which we hope you find helpful in keeping up to date.

INTERNATIONAL PRODUCT CHANGES

Please find below an update for the international checks that have had a change of process, requirements or forms.  If you would like us to send you the current documentation for any of the listed checks please contact us by emailing service@verifile.co.uk.

 

NETHERLANDS
Criminal check

We can no longer report on the results of this check. Going forward the Ministry of Justice will only post the results directly to the residential address of the candidates.

We will still be able to submit the applications and run the checks on candidate behalf as the mentioned change only affects the delivery of the results.

This change is the result of our conversations with Ministry of Justice and their announcement which states that due to the privacy law they will no longer be sending the Certificates of Good Behaviour to third parties. 

 

EL SALVADOR
Criminality

We have updated the instructions for candidates based on the change in requirements. 

 

PAKISTAN
Criminal check

Pakistan Criminal check is no longer available.

Over time we have noticed that it has become much more difficult to obtain the Criminal record checks from Pakistan and for quite a while obtaining these checks has been limited only to Sindh province. In addition to this, recently we have been advised that Pakistan Police have changed their internal processes and this has negatively affected the availability of these checks, therefore we are no longer able to guarantee that we will receive the results. Due to this we are no longer able to offer this search.

 

LEBANON
Credit search

Based on the changes in the registry this search will no longer provide previous directorships and shareholdings. Please note that we are still able to provide current directorships and shareholdings in addition to other elements of the credit check.

 

BANGLADESH
Criminality

This is now per region search.

 

GUAM & US VIRGIN ISLANDS
Bankruptcy search

You will no longer need to order standalone Bankruptcy checks for Guam and the US Virgin Islands. These checks are now covered by our USA Bankruptcy check.

 

SOUTH AFRICA, NIGERIA, BARBADOS, GRENADA
Criminal Records

We have updated instructions for these searches to reflect the change of New Scotland Yard website address.  There are no other changes.

 

TURKEY
Credit check

We have updated the instructions for candidates based on the change in requirements.

 

NEW ZEALAND
Police Vetting (Vulnerable Sector Search)

A new vetting form has been introduced as well as new candidate instructions. 

 

USA
Criminal and Civil Litigation checks 

From the 1st September 2017 the address history will no longer be shown on the reports.

We always embrace enacting policy changes designed to maximize the compliance with federal, state, and local US laws. Please be aware that, due to recent imposed data source limitations, effective September 1, 2017, the address history data derived from Social Security Trace and/or alias searches will no longer be viewable by us or employers, nor will the data appear on any reports.

If you need to obtain a copy of the address history data, on a per-case basis, you can contact us to request a copy and it will be provided to you separately.

Address history data is not part of a "Consumer Report" as the term is defined under the US Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and cannot be used to make an FCRA Permissable Purpose decision (employment, tenant, etc.) and can only be used as an index or pointer search to determine where to conduct additional searches.

The process that we use to run the checks and to obtain the results, however, will not change. Address history data will be continued to be reviewed and additional services based on your specific ordering criteria will be added as per usual. When available, the Social Security Number validation and Death Master Index data will still be viewable and appear on reports.

 

In this issue of the International Newsletter:

WORLDWIDE

 

AFRICA & MIDDLE EAST  
ISRAEL

- The New Israeli Data Security Regulations: A Tutorial 

SOUTH AFRICA

- Beware of Non-Compliance With The Protection of Personal Information Act 

ASIA PACIFIC

 

CHINA

- China’s Revised Draft Data Localization Measures 

JAPAN

- Are You Ready For The Amended Japanese Privacy Law? 

SINGAPORE

- Singapore Privacy Regulator Reminds That Paper Needs Privacy, Too 

- Singapore Top Highest APAC Ranking

SOUTH KOREA

- Self-Regulatory Regime “Seems Inevitable” Following Launch of Pilot Study 

EUROPE

- 61 Percent of Companies Have Not Started GDPR Implementation

- CIPL Issues Recommendations For Implementing Transparency, Consent and Legitimate Interest Under The GDPR 

- GDPR Matchup: The APEC Privacy Framework and Cross-Border Privacy Rules 

An Opportunity to Shape Compliance with GDPR 

- Get Ready for the GDPR: Talking to Colleagues and Vendors

- WP29s Final Word On DPOs, Data Portability, And The One-Stop Shop 

- How to Prepare for GDPR: Impomenting a Compliance Programme

- THE GDPR – What Does It Mean for HR?

AUSTRIA

- What Can Employers Do With Regards To Background Checks In Austria?

GERMANY

- Germany Passes New Federal Data Protection Act 

ITALY

- Italian Data Protection Authority Issues First Guidelines On GDPR-Readiness

THE NETHERLANDS

- Dutch Privacy Watchdog Offers Help Ahead Of Protection Rules 

SWITZERLAND

- Medical Officers Remain Bound By Professional Confidentiality Rules  

- Preparing For The GDPR: New Employee Data Subject Rights Could Disrupt Core HR Procedures

UNITED KINGDOM

- Could Poppy Seeds Lead to You Failing a Drug Test at Work?

- When is a Criminal Conviction Spent and What Does a DBS Check Show?

- Is it Time to Give Ex-Offenders a Break? 

- Criminal Record Checks: Filtering System Ruled Unlawful 

- Thousands of Police on The Beat Without Current Background Checks

NORTH AMERICA  
CANADA

- Saskatoon Police Prepare For Changes to Freedom of Information Law

- Social Media Background Checks and Privacy Laws 

- Catholic Church of Montreal to Require Fingerprinting for All Church Personnel Working with Children

SOUTH AMERICA

 

ARGENTINA

- Argentina:  Companies "Express Concern" Over Data Protection Amendment Bill

UNITED STATES

- Provider Hit with Class Action Lawsuit Over Inaccurate Background Check  

- Faulty Background Checks Prompts Class Action Lawsuit 

- Five Guys Burgers Faces Employment Class Action Lawsuit 

- New California Regulations Further limit Employers' Ability to use Criminal History in CA

- Philadelphia Law Firm Gets Record $60 Million Verdict in CA FCRA Class Action

- 4th Circuit Applies Spokeo and Reverses $12 million FCRA Action Judgement

- Gov Christie Announces Bipartisan Model Legislation to Reclaim Lives

 

World wide news

 

Africa Middle East

Israel

The New Israeli Data Security Regulations: A Tutorial 

A new publication addresses frequently asked questions with respect to new data security regulations in Israel, including to whom they apply, the effective date of implementation, and how they affect the potential sanctions and powers of the data protection authority. The publication specifically discusses how regulations adopt a risk-based approach, applying different rules to databases according to their risk profile, and explains how the regulations are set up three main risk categories. In addition, the regulations set forth specific rules for databases maintained by individuals or sole proprietorships, unless the databases cross a certain risk threshold, in which case they are categorized in one of the three buckets.

Read more

South Africa

Beware of Non Compliance With The Protection of Personal Information Act 

The President of South Africa is expected to soon sign a proclamation declaring the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPI Act) be in full effect in South Africa. Under the Act, the data subject must know and understand the precise purpose for the collection of any information, how it will be utilized, how the information is to be protected against distribution or theft by unauthorized parties, how long it will be retained, and how it will be destroyed when it’s no longer required. Unlawful retention, distribution, sharing or unauthorized use of personal information may result in non-compliance with the Act, which will carry penalties of penalties and possible jail time. 

Read more

Asia Pacific

 China

China’s Revised Draft Data Localization Measures 

The Cyberspace Administration of China (the CAC) released a revised draft of its Security Assessment for Personal Information and Important Data Transmitted Outside of the People’s Republic of China Measures (the Second Draft Export Review Measures). There was a significant volume of industry commentary, and the Second Draft Export Review Measures relax some of the more stringent requirements stated in the First Draft Export Review Measures originally due to become law on June 1, 2017 when China’s Cyber Security Law officially took effect. The changes make a few technical adjustments and include a temporary reprieve from China’s new data localization measures through December 31, 2018.

Read more

Japan

Are You Ready For The Amended Japanese Privacy Law? 

Important changes to the privacy rules in Japan now affect the ways in which companies handle personal information, particularly with respect to disclosures to third parties, international transfers, and the collection and use of sensitive personal information. The changes are the result of amendments made to Japan’s Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA) in 2015, which are intended to enhance the protection of personal information, with a view to making such protections comparable to those provided by EU law, and promote effective and broader use of personal information by introducing new systems such as those for “anonymously processed information.”

Read more

Singapore

Singapore Privacy Regulator Reminds That Paper Needs Privacy, Too

In May, Singapore’s privacy commissioner sanctioned two companies for failing to take reasonable security measures to protect the personal data of their customers in extremely low tech ways. The Singapore Personal Data Protection Commission issued enforcement measures on a furniture store and an Asia-Pacific Star Private Ltd. (APS) for mishandling paper receipts that contained customer personal information. Both companies violated section 24 of the Personal Data Protection Act of 2012, which places on organizations an obligation to make reasonable security arrangements to protect the personal data in its possession or under its control and to prevent unauthorized access, collection, use, disclosure, copying, modification, disposal or similar risks.

Read more

Singapore Top Highest APAC Ranking

Singapore retains its top spot in Asia Pacific for the fourth consecutive year in the Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI) 2017, which is an annual benchmarking report that measures the ability of countries to compete for talent.  The 2017 report explores the effects of technological change on talent competitiveness and the future of work, arguing that while routine jobs at all levels continue to be replaced by machines, technology is also creating new opportunites.  Singapore is ranked second globally for the fourth consecutive year.  High ranking countries share key traits, including educational systems that meet the needs of the economy; employment policies that favor flexibility, mobility and entrepreneurship and more.

Read more

South Korea

Self-Regulatory Regime “Seems Inevitable” Following Launch of Pilot Study

The Korea Communications Commission will launch the Online Privacy Protection Regulation System, beginning with a pilot study targeted at the online retail, search engines, gaming, broadcasting and telecommunications industries. The study will involve 66 companies that will have to self-diagnose their operations through checklists provided by the KCC. The KCC will then prepare customized checklists for the games, portals and pay-tv industries by the end of this year. Kyoung Yeon Kim, Partner at Yulchon LLC, said, “A self-regulatory regime seems to be inevitable now, considering the enormous number of players in the market and comparatively limited government resources to monitor and regulate each and every one of their activities.” 

Read more

Europe

 

61 Percent of Companies Have Not Started GDPR Implementation 

According to research conducted by TrustArc, most companies are not ready for the General Data Protection Regulation. In a survey, “Privacy and the EU GDPR,” TrustArc polled 204 privacy professionals and found that 61 percent have not begun the process of GDPR implementation, while 23 percent said they have begun implementation, 11 percent stated their implementation is “well underway,” and four percent claimed to be fully compliant with the GDPR. Of the 61 percent who have not started implementation, 39 percent are working on their preliminary plan, 18 percent have a plan in place, but have not started implementation, and four percent haven’t started working on a plan at all.        

Read more

CIPL Issues Recommendations For Implementing Transparency, Consent and Legitimate Interest Under The GDPR 

The Centre for Information Policy Leadership at Hunton & Williams LLP issued a white paper on Recommendations for Implementing Transparency, Consent and Legitimate Interest under the GDPR. The White Paper sets forth guidance and recommendations on the key concepts of transparency, consent and legitimate interest under the EU GDPR. One of the main objectives of the GDPR is the empowerment of individuals and transparency is a prerequisite to meet this objective. However, it notes a growing gap between legal transparency through traditional and lengthy privacy policies and notices and user-centric transparency. CIPL recommends that transparency under the GDPR be user-centric: informing users through meaningful information in concise and intelligible formats. 

Read more

GDPR Matchup: The APEC Privacy Framework and Cross-Border Privacy Rules 

A new document examines laws from across the globe and matches them up against the EU General Data Protection Regulation, to help determine how much duplication of operational effort can be avoided as the move toward GDPR takes place. It examines the principles of the APEC Privacy Framework with the principles expressed by the GDPR. And, it notes that the privacy enforcement authorities of a country that takes part in the system should have the ability to take enforcement actions under applicable domestic laws and regulations that have the effect of protecting personal information consistent with the CBPR program requirements.

Read more

An Opportunity to Shape Compliance with GDPR 

The UK Government has launched a call for views on the GDPR derogations to ensure that the GDPR does not place unnecessary burdens on business. The opportunity will be of particular interest to organizations that deal regularly with sensitive personal data, particularly in healthcare, life sciences and scientific research. Where the GDPR (or existing local law) may be insufficiently clear concerning whether a particular processing scenario is permitted, this is an opportunity for businesses to place their arguments before the UK Government and seek to ensure future compliance. 

Read more

Get Ready for the GDPR: Talking to Colleagues and Vendors

A brief by Digital Clarity Group uncovers the key provisions of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and provides a guide to kick-starting critical discussions, both internally and with vendors and service partners. It notes that for affected firms, every single business process that touches personal data will have to be very carefully reviewed and, in all likelihood, redesigned to comply with the GDPR. It offers a discussion on how companies should build internal awareness of the challenges and opportunities that GDPR poses, and that includes the importance of selecting the right technologies and forming deep partnerships with outside suppliers.

Read more

WP29s Final Word On DPOs, Data Portability, And The One-Stop Shop 

Privacy professionals and data protection officers (DPO) will need to know about changes that the EU’s Article 29 Working Party has made to GDPR application guidance documents, including that a company’s DPO should be located in Europe, the scope of a DPO’s responsibility, and who the DPO reports to. IAPP’s publication, Privacy Tracker, also provides guidance on how data controllers should avoid adversely affecting the rights and freedoms of third parties when complying with the right to data portability, specifically how they may not hinder accessibility or provide excessive delays of data access through inappropriate fees, lack of interoperability or access to a data format. 

Read more

How to Prepare for GDPR: Implementing a Compliance Programme 

With the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) coming into effect next May, it is vital that organisations take action to ensure they are ready to comply. It will be a challenge to be fully compliant by then, but taking care of the risky areas first will serve the most purpose. Begin by assembling a project team that identifies key stakeholders and a board or senior management buy-in to support the project. Conduct an initial risk assessment to better understand how the business currently collects, uses and shares personal data, and how these steps are regulated. Finally, establish a GDPR compliance action plan that includes prioritising activity and remedial measures; creates a data register; and provides training. 

Read more

THE GDPR – What Does It Mean for HR? 

With just under a year until the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) replaces the Data Protection Act 1998, employers should consider the necessary steps to ensure compliance.  The GDPR makes it clear that consent must be freely given if there is no genuine free choice. In addition, a data subject has the right not to be subject to a decision made solely by automated processing if that decision affects them. To ready themselves, employees should perform an audit on the personal data held by the company and compile a data processing register. They should consider the issue of where consent is avoidable and appropriate and review and amend existing Data Protection Policies. 

Read more

Austria

What Can Employers Do With Regards To Background Checks In Austria?

Regarding criminal record checks, no express statutory restrictions prohibit employers or third parties from performing background checks. However, testimonials cannot contain details that might hamper an employee’s job prospects. This prohibition indirectly affects this process, as former employers cannot provide negative information to prospective employers. It is common for job applicants to provide employers with a criminal record certificate (certificate of good standing). Further, human resources reports often provide insightful background information on applicants. Employers commonly request a criminal record certificate from job applicants. These certificates do not show criminal convictions that have already been expunged from the official database. Convictions for minor offences (ie, jail terms of no more than three months or equivalent) are also not shown in the certificate. Read the full article for more information pertaining to criminal records, medical history, drug screening, credit checks, immigration status and social media checks.

Read more

Germany

Germany Passes New Federal Data Protection Act 

The German Parliament and the Federal Council have approved the draft of a new Federal Data Protection Act to align German data protection law to the European General Data Protection replace the existing Federal Data Protection Act. Overall, the draft includes much of Germany’s existing Federal Data Protection Act, with specific provisions on processing of employee data, automated decision making, rating agencies and scoring, data subject rights and the requirement of every data controller to appoint a data protection officer, and more. 

Read more

Italy

Italian Data Protection Authority Issues First Guidelines On GDPR-Readiness 

The Italian Data Protection Authority (Garante) has released its first set of guidelines on the General Data Protection Regulation. Specifically, the Garante believes that written consent still represents a safer and more secure option for obtaining legal certainty of data processing. In addition, the Garante issued specific recommendations (separate from GDPR guidelines) regarding rights of data subjects, balancing interests between data subjects’ rights and the rights of third parties, how companies should appoint one data controller (versus several), and more.

Read more

Netherlands 

Dutch Privacy Watchdog Offers Help Ahead Of Protection Rules 

Dutch privacy watchdog Autoriteit Persoonsgegevens (AP) wants to assist organizations in their preparations for the implementation of the General Data Protection Act (AVG), which go into effect in May 2018. The Act will give people more control over their personal data and ensure that the same data protection rules apply in every European country. In addition, AP is calling for more attention to privacy and data protection in healthcare, as it notes that health information is the most sensitive personal data available. The data is not legally protected by law but new developments could strengthen the protection of health data, such as more research into fraud in the sector and the emergence of online patient portals. 

Read more

Switzerland

Medical Officers Remain Bound By Professional Confidentiality Rules 

The Swiss Supreme Court ruled that a medical officer, i.e. a doctor called upon by the employer to render a second opinion on the working capability of an employee in case of an accident or sickness, remains bound by his or her professional confidentiality rules. In other words, without a prior authorization by the employee, the medical officer may only express an opinion on the existence, duration and degree of work incapacity including the cause for the work absence (i.e., as to whether caused by an accident or due sickness. The decision stems from a case where an employer divulged an employee’s working capability, but also his personal, professional and financial situation.

Read more

Preparing For The GDPR: New Employee Data Subject Rights Could Disrupt Core HR Procedures

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will force through a culture change in terms of attitudes to data privacy, according to the Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham, who has warned that organizations risking damaging their brands and their business if they are seen to be cavalier with personal data. GDPR is also a key HR issue, and data protection will become one of the major issues, and potentially source of disputes, in the employment context in the next few years. Employers will need to adopt a whole new culture in relation to the processing of HR data in light of more restrictions on processing, new and strengthened rights for employees and much more stringent penalties.

Read more

United Kingdom 2

Could Poppy Seeds Lead to You Failing a Drug Test at Work?  

About 8.4 percent of adults aged 16 to 59 reported taking an illicit drug from 2015 to 2016. This, paired with the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, means employers have a duty to ensure the health, safety and welfare at work of their employers. Surprisingly, only 8 percent of employers have been found to operate drug and alcohol testing, many of them testing only those in safety-critical roles. Businesses should consider all possibilities in drug testing, however. Journalist Angela Ribbon recently appeared in the news after she failed a drug test when no drugs were actually taken. Instead, minute traces of opiates in poppy seeds triggered the results, which could appear from 30 minutes to 16 hours after ingestion. Some supplements, ibuprofen and tonic water could produce similar results. 

Read more

Is it Time to Give Ex-Offenders a Break? 

A December 2016 parliamentary Work and Pensions Committee report has suggested that employers should be offered tax incentives for recruiting ex-offenders. Despite this incentive, more than 50 percent of surveyed businesses stated that they would not consider hiring an ex-offender. Reasons include perceived risk to security and prevention of harm, concerns that ex-offenders lack honesty and reliability and the potential damage to the image of the business. Employers can currently obtain information about criminal history by requesting voluntary disclosure by the employee or by carrying out official checks through the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). The majority of spent convictions do not need to be disclosed by the individual, even where a request has been made. 

Read more

Criminal Record Checks: Filtering System Ruled Unlawful 

The incoming Government has been tasked with reconsidering record disclosure rules after defeat in the Court of Appeal over the process of filtering out less serious or long-standing convictions. The recent decision in R (on the application of P and others) v Secretary of State for Justice is the latest case to challenge the disclosure to prospective employers of less serious offences or those that were committed many years ago or when the offender was a minor. Changes were made in 2013 that allow criminal record checks to filter out single convictions for some offences. The “multiple conviction rule,” however, was up for challenge. In the above-mentioned case, two individuals were successful in challenging the revised scheme in a judicial review application in the High Court for offences that had taken place many years before. 

Read more 

Thousands of Police on The Beat Without Current Background Checks

Responding to a request from the BBC under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act, Northumbria Police admitted almost 3,000 or nine out of ten of its officers still had not been vetted in line with the most recent policy. The latest vetting guidelines introduced by the Association of Chief Police Officers require all new police officers and staff to be vetted, while serving officers are expected to undergo retrospective checks. Out of 48 police forces, 17 responded in full to the FOI request. About 14,000 police officers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland had not undergone up-to-date checks. Officials said: "it is simply a question of volume outstripping the supply of people to do the tasks.

Read more 

North America

Canada 2

Saskatoon Police Prepare For Changes to Freedom of Information Law

Beginning this fall, Saskatoon police forces will be subject to provincial freedom of information law. The Saskatoon Police Service hired its first access and privacy officer this spring, Kayla Oishi, who is in the process of developing the forms and procedures that will be needed to request documents from the police, in addition to information on what type of data can be requested from the police, what material won’t be given out, how and when freedom of information requests can be filed and how long it will take for police to respond to public requests.

Read more 

Social Media Background Checks and Privacy Laws 

Although social media has made it easy for businesses to complete background checks, the practice of searching the internet brings with it an increased risk of privacy violation. In May, the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner for British Columbia (OIPC) published a guidance document aimed at helping private organizations and pubic bodies navigate the relationship between social media background checks and privacy laws. The OIPC recommends a privacy impact assessment be conducted that includes identifying the types and amount of information to be collected; ensuring policies and procedures are in place to address identified risks; and preparing the make accessible the information collected about an individual. 

Read more

Catholic Church of Montreal to Require Fingerprinting for All Church Personnel Working with Children

Last year, a pilot program was launched by the Catholic Church of Montreal that prohibited church personnel from being alone with children. The project has been expanded to include fingerprinting of priests and church volunteers, a requirement of all churches by 2020. The new rules involve a 10-step screening process intended to provide safety to those involved in vulnerable situations, including children, the sick and the elderly. Mandatory police background checks are included in the new rules for the 194 churches in the diocese. 

Read more

South America

Argentina

Argentina: Companies “Express Concern” Over Data Protection Amendment Bill 

A second draft bill of Argentina’s protection legislation, part an ongoing process to modernize the country’s Personal Data Protection 2000, would remove the obligation to register databases with the PDP, and includes provisions to create a national Do Not Call Registry. It also supplements the current list of definitions under the Law to include data controller, data processor, and data breach. The Draft Bill would also require data controllers to apply the principles of Privacy by Design and Privacy by Default, both before and during data processing, and to carry out Privacy Impact Assessments when the processing is likely to cause harm to data subjects.  

Read more

United States

Provider Hit with Class Action Lawsuit Over Inaccurate Background Check Report 

IMG, doing business as Cathedral Health Care Center, an Indiana-based healthcare management group, has been accused of violating the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Michele Petry filed the class action lawsuit after a false background check report caused her to be denied for employment. The company refused to provide a copy of the report, which showed multiple felonies that Petry did not commit. The lawsuit includes those job applicants who were denied employment without being provided a copy of the report or consumers’ rights in the past five years. This could include hundreds – possibly thousands – of applicants. 

Read more 

Faulty Background Checks Prompts Class Action Lawsuit 

Although Michele Petry’s criminal background is clean, she was denied employment with IDE Management, which claims her background report revealed multiple felonies. Petry filed a class action lawsuit against the company in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Evansville Division. The company, which does business as Cathedral Health Care Centers, denied her employment without giving her a proper chance to correct those results, violating the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Petry’s claim states that IDE negligently and willfully violated the FCRA when it failed to provide a copy of the report and a description in writing of her rights. 

Read more 

Five Guys Burgers Faces Employment Class Action Lawsuit 

Plaintiff Jeremy R. Lusk has filed a class action lawsuit against Five Guys Burgers. The former employee claims the company violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and California labor law when it conducted background checks on employees without properly notifying them and committed a number of wage and hour violations. The complaint also asserts that the company regularly secured credit and background reports on employees, conducted background checks on potential, current and former employees and used this information in hiring decisions without providing clear disclosures. The suit alleges violations of the FCRA, California’s Consumer Credit Reporting Agencies Act (CCCRA), Investigative Consumer Reporting Agencies Act (ICRAA) and California’s Unfair Competition Law and state labor code. 

Read more 

New California Regulations Further Limit Employers’ Ability to Use Criminal History in Making Employment Decisions 

New regulations from the California Fair Employment and Housing Council that will go into effect July 1 will limit an employer’s ability to consider the criminal history of a job applicant or employee when making employment decisions. Key changes include adverse impact on protected classes, notice prior to adverse employment action and marijuana possession convictions. The regulations are part of a larger trend in California to restrict the use of criminal history records in making employment decisions. 

Read more 

Philadelphia Law Firm Gets Record $60 Million Verdict in CA FCRA Class Action

The highest jury verdict in the history of the Fair Credit Reporting Act was reached when the law firms of Francis & Mailman, P.C., Philadelphia, and Anderson, Ogilvie & Brewer, LLC, San Francisco, successfully obtained $60,055,800 in statutory and punitive damages. The class action was brought against the Trans Union credit reporting agency based upon its practice of falsely associating consumers with the federal government’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) terrorist watchlist. Sergio L. Ramirez brought the case on behalf of a class of similarly situated individuals after he was denied the ability to buy a car. Trans Union reported that he was a narcotics kingpin on the government’s OFAC list. Ramirez had a different middle name, date of birth and address from any of the records. 

Read more 

Spokeo and Standing: Fourth Circuit Applies Spokeo and Reverses Nearly $12 Million FCRA Action Judgement 

In May, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit issued an opinion in Dreher v. Experian Information Solutions, Inc., reversing and dismissing a nearly $12 million award in a Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) class action. After applying the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2016 decision in Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins, the court found that the representative plaintiff lacked Article III standing to bring his claims.

At the district court level, summary judgement was granted in favor of the plaintiff on his willful violation claim. Experian Credit Solutions, Inc. stipulated to an award of $170 statutory damages for each member of the class. The case should be welcome news for defendants facing technical claims, as the Fourth Circuit is trending toward requiring real, concrete harm to find Article III standing. 

Read more 

Governor Christie Announces Bipartisan Agreement on Model Legislation to Reclaim Lives

Governor Chris Christie recently announced a bipartisan agreement on model legislation to help reclaim the millions of family members, friends, neighbors and coworkers in New Jersey and across the country who are stricken by drug addiction. Three new expungement reform bills developed by the governor and Senator Sandra Cunningham (D-Hudson) would prohibit employment discrimination based upon several factors. The bills, according to Christie, will prevent “a childhood or adolescent mistake from ruining someone’s future, while still ensuring there are appropriate consequences for unlawful behavior and lessons are learned.” 

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