Do we sound like a broken record yet? I sure feel like we do, but we can’t help it when so many giant corporations keep getting caught up in the same troublesome webs. Amazon.com and Staff Management, a company Amazon uses to provide temporary workers, are among the latest subjects of class action litigation alleging violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).
The named plaintiff in the proposed class action is Gregory Williams. Williams applied for a job through the staffing company, but was turned down when his background check came back listing a felony conviction for cocaine possession. Not only does Williams say the information is wrong, but he says he was never given a copy of the report, a Summary of Rights, or the chance to fix the mistake. All of this is a clear violation of the FCRA.
The adverse action lawsuit, which was filed in U.S. District Court in Washington State, seeks to represent all workers who were rejected by Amazon over the last 5 years who did not receive a copy of their background report. Cases like this can get expensive. Class members typically number in the thousands and damages can range from $100 to $1,000 per person. Home Depot recently settled a similar FCRA suit for $1.8 million. In that case, applicants were not given proper disclosure forms before the background checks were performed.
Regardless of the type of violation… we implore you again… make sure your hiring policies and practices are in line with the FCRA. Lawsuits are not just for the giants of the business world. The FCRA requirements apply to all employers- even those that use staffing agencies to help with the hiring process. If you are using a staffing company be sure they are following all of the guidelines. Just as we are seeing with Amazon, you could be held responsible if they cut corners.