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January 15 2014

Lawsuit Raises FCRA Fears

A class-action lawsuit against Disney serves as a stark reminder that employers better follow the letter of the Fair Credit Reporting Act when it comes to notifying job candidates or employees about adverse actions against them due to something that showed up in a background-screening report. With an increasing number of employers facing lawsuits under the Fair Credit Reporting Act based on actions taken -- or not taken -- during their recruiting and hiring procedures, experts and employment attorneys are cautioning them to know the letter of this law before deciding on any job candidate. More importantly, if they're going to decide not to hire someone because of what turned up in a background check, they'd better cross their t's and dot their i's when it comes to notifying the applicant about the decision that's about to be made. The latest to be pulled into the fray, Disney, is accused of knowingly violating the FCRA by failing to provide job applicants and employees with adverse-action notices and copies of background reports prior to negative decisions being made. In the class-action lawsuit, Culberson v. The Walt Disney Company, Robert L. Culberson claims Disney illegally barred him from employment by failing to provide him with the notice -- required by the FCRA when an adverse-employment decision is based on any portion of a background check.