Kohl’s Department Stores hit with Class Action for FCRA Violations

Kohl'sHere’s another class action suit for alleged FCRA violations.  On June 9th, a plaintiff filed a putative class action lawsuit against Kohl’s Department Stores, Inc. for allegedly violating the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) by failing to properly notify prospective employees that it would procure credit reports on them as part of the hiring process. According to the complaint, Kohl’s conducted an improper background check on the plaintiff, which included obtaining the plaintiff’s credit reports, between October 2012 and June 2013. The plaintiff argues that Kohl’s employment application conceals the authorization for such background checks. Specifically, the complaint argues that “because the purported disclosures are embedded within extraneous information and are not clear and unambiguous disclosures in stand-alone documents, they do not meet the requirements under the FCRA.”

Coleman v. Kohl’s Department Stores, Inc. No.3:15-cv-02588 (N.D. Cal., June 9, 2015)

Is your hiring process compliant?  Visit www.carcogroup.com to learn how CARCO keeps its clients out of harm’s way!

NYC Extends its Existing Ban the Box Law to Private Employers

bantheboxThe New York City Council voted to require private employers to remove criminal convictions questions from job applications.  The Fair Chance Act will delay the background check until an applicant can demonstrate qualifications and is given a conditional offer of employment.  However, employers who are legally prohibited from hiring people with certain convictions must still do so.


It is important for New York employers to remember they cannot use unrelated convictions when making employment decisions. And now they cannot ask about criminal convictions until a conditional offer of employment is made to the applicant.  This bill will make certain that all public and private employers are considering applicants based on their skills, experience, and qualifications.


According to City Council Member Jumaane Williams, “This law will ensure that all New Yorkers, including those with convictions for previous mistakes, will have an equal opportunity to compete for jobs that they qualify for.”


NYC joins more than 100 cities and counties and 17 states that have adopted Ban the Box laws; most of which do NOT cover private employers.   For a full listing of Ban the Box laws, visit CARCO’s website at http://www.carcogroup.com/documents/Ban%20the%20Box%20Policies%20Statewide%20and%20Local.XLSX.pdf


Both Hertz and Avis Budget Hit With Class Actions for FCRA Violations

It’s been a rough week for the rental car industry.  Both Avis Budget Car Rental LLC and The Hertz Corporation were hit with class action lawsuits for alleged violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

avis_budget_logo Avis Budget Car Rental was accused of using consumer reports to make employment decisions without giving people sufficient notification.  The company was also accused of violating the FCRA by requiring job applicants to sign a standardized background check application that asks applicants to waive rights and that includes language that the Act’s stand-alone disclosure form requirement prohibits.

Fuller v. Avis Budget Car Rental LLC et al, case number 2:15-cv-03856

Hertz Hertz has been accused of not following proper procedure when screening job applicants using consumer reports. The suit alleges that Hertz “systematically” violates the FCRA by failing to properly warn applicants in writing that it plans to procure a consumer report during the hiring process, by not providing them with a written description of their rights under the act, and failing to get the applicants’ authorizations to do the checks.  The suit also claims that Hertz does not give the applicant a chance to challenge the report.  Hertz’s background screening vendor, who provided the consumer report, is also named in the suit.

Lee v. The Hertz Corporation et al, case number 3:15-cv-02545

The message to companies is that you must ensure your hiring and background screening processes are legally compliant.  If not, you leave yourself open to be sued. The scrutiny of these processes has never been more prevalent.