Forty percent of the consumer class actions filed in Virginia in 2014 alleging violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”) relate to background reports for employment purposes. With one exception, all of the cases are against consumer reporting agencies. The exception is a lawsuit against an employer. Every one of the employment-related cases seeks certification of one or more nationwide classes that could include thousands of consumers.
These allegations accuse consumer reporting agencies of either failing to have, or not following, the correct procedures under the FCRA in the following three areas:
1. what to disclose to consumers when a consumer report is furnished to an employer;
2. scrubbing outdated information from the consumer reports; and
3. providing the entire consumer file in response to a consumer’s request.
FCRA Class Actions focus on technical violations and seek to recover statutory and punitive damages for the class members.
All but one of these cases filed in 2014 were filed by the same law firm.