Screening News Update: Stanford FCRA Suit | Motel ICE Settlement | Drug Testing for Unemployment

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Screening News Update: Stanford FCRA Suit | Motel ICE Settlement | Drug Testing for Unemployment

  • Stanford University Faces Familiar FCRA case
  • Motel 6 Settles over ICE Raids
  • States May Now Drug Test Unemployment Recipients

Stanford University Faces Familiar FCRA case

Stanford University is facing another FCRA class action lawsuit over its standard application form. That form has a long clause that says the undersigned authorizes a pre-employment background check that covers criminal history, employment and educational history, credit and driving record checks. It goes on to say that signing the form means you will fill out any consent forms that are necessary and release the university from any liability. Named plaintiff Theresa Richard applied to be a dining hall worker. Her complaint alleged that Stanford failed to make a proper disclosure and failed to get proper authorization as is required under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).  There could be thousands of potential class members. Back in 2015 another employee sued the university for the exact same reason. The university settled for $400,000. Each class member recovered $13.82.

Related: FCRA Compliance: What You Need to Know

Motel 6 Settles over ICE Raids

The Motel 6 chain made news a few months ago for allegedly sending personal information from its Latino guests to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). At least six Motel 6 locations were accused of doing this on a near-daily basis, and without any reasonable suspicion that the guests were in the country illegally. A class action lawsuit was filed after several guests were detained by ICE. According to the suit, agents would get a list of guests with ‘Latino-sounding names.” The list would also have the guests’ driver’s license numbers, birth dates, license plates and room numbers. The company has agreed to pay $6.6 million to settle the case. As part of the agreement, they will also implement additional controls to protect the private information of their guests.

States May Now Drug Test Unemployment Recipients

The Trump administration is bringing back a new version of an Obama-era rule that was killed more than a year ago. In 2017, using the Congressional Review Act (CRA), Congressional Republicans repealed a rule that severely limited the states’ ability to drug test people applying for unemployment pay. The rule basically said that if you had been working in a job that required drug testing -- for example, you were a pilot, truck driver, or carried a gun for work -- then your state could require you to pass a drug test in order to get your benefits. You could also be tested if you were fired for using illegal drugs. Those were the only two scenarios. Now, the Labor Department has issued a broader version of the rule that gives states the discretion to decide when and if they want to drug test unemployment applicants. States have to pay for the testing, and those that now have legalized marijuana will have to determine if testing positive for the drug will even have an impact on collecting unemployment benefits.

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