In a recent class action lawsuit filed in the United States District Court, Northern District of Ohio, applicants of Vitran Express, Inc. challenged the company’s adherence to the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Preliminary approval has been given to a proposed settlement totaling $2.6 million.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act requires companies to make a clear and conspicuous written disclosure to applicants prior to obtaining a consumer report. This must be a document that consists solely of the disclosure/authorization for a consumer report to be obtained. Members of the class action suit alleged that Vitran did not require applicants to complete FCRA disclosure documents prior to obtaining criminal background reports. Additionally, employment decisions were based on these reports and Vitran failed to follow the proper process as mandated by the law.
In one instance, a plaintiff in the case alleged that he applied for employment with the company who proceeded to obtain a criminal background report without his consent. The results of this report revealed many criminal convictions and Vitran denied employment to the applicant based on these findings. However, convictions in the report did not belong to the applicant. Had Vitran followed the lawful process, the applicant would have participated in the pre-adverse action process. This would have informed the applicant of the records found as well as afforded him an opportunity to correct the misinformation included in the report.
Corporate Screening serves as a trusted resource and can assist your company in achieving FCRA compliance. Sample documents including disclosure forms and pre-adverse/adverse action letters are available for your reference. Additional information on pre-adverse/adverse action procedures can also be found in the recent edition of Screening Solutions, Corporate Screening’s quarterly newsletter. Compliance with FCRA as well as state, local and industry-specific regulations is an important part of any background screening program. Partnering with Corporate Screening can safeguard your onboarding process and ensure compliance.
Questions? Contact Corporate Screening Support at 800-229-8606 and select option 3, or contact your Account Representative.