A complaint filed in a Georgia federal court contains allegations that Aaron’s Inc. violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”) by refusing to hire job applicants and terminating current employees based on information contained in their background checks and credit reports without providing them with copies of the reports. The complaint also includes allegations that the description of rights required under the FCRA is provided to individuals after the adverse employment action has been taken, instead of before the action is taken as required under the FCRA. Plaintiff Daniel Antoine seeks to represent a class of individuals who were subject to an adverse employment action on or after July 1, 2012 based at least in part on a background check or credit report. Antoine alleges that Aaron’s Inc. maintains more than 2,000 company-operated and franchised stores and that the potential class includes hundreds, if not thousands of members. Antoine seeks statutory damages of not less than $100 and not more than $1,000 for each violation of the FCRA, claiming that Aaron’s Inc. willfully violated the statute.
TIP: Although employers have been conducting background checks for years, many are discovering that their process is not compliant or have regrettably relied on vendors for compliance. Employers should review their background check process with counsel to ensure compliance with the FCRA.