Home Depot, Inc., the world’s largest home improvement specialty retailer and employer to over 300,000 employees, was hit with a Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) suit alleging that the company failed to provide the required notices to employees prior to obtaining consumer reports in connection with their applications and prior to taking adverse action based upon those reports’ findings.
The Complaint alleges that the retailer’s online job posting system does not provide a standalone disclosure that is required to run a consumer report in connection with an employment application. With the increasing reliance on online solicitation and online applications, large employers should ensure that their forms are up to date as one slip up can mean across-the-board liability. Courts have generally found that a plaintiff seeking statutory damages under the FCRA need not allege or prove actual damages or injury for standing, plaintiffs’ attorneys are likely to find claims alleging willful violations attractive.
Employers should also be wary that states continue to pass laws that limit or outright prohibit the consideration of certain details of an applicant’s background, such as a credit score, with certain exceptions. FCRA compliance is an easy fix, and Kelley Drye can walk you through both federal compliance and the increasing state law restrictions and bans on the use of such information. To borrow from Home Depot’s motto – “You can do it. We can help.”