Criminal Background Checks: Reviewing the Year in FCRA Class Action Settlements

While much attention has been paid this year to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (“EEOC’s”) agenda and litigation over criminal background checks (the agency asserts such background checks have a disparate impact on minority groups), a parallel challenge kept pace in the form of private class action litigation under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”). 2013 saw a number of significant class action settlements against both employers and consumer reporting agencies (“CRAs”) for alleged violations of the FCRA in the use of criminal background checks. 2013 also has seen a number of new FCRA class action lawsuits, including a high-profile lawsuit filed against the Walt Disney Company, as well as class actions against two different national transportation and trucking companies, a national home improvement retailer, a broadcast company, and several large CRAs. It seems clear that the trends in FCRA litigation will continue.

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