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Technical Violation of FCRA Enough to Continue Suit Against Sprint

Reiterating the need for employers to ensure compliance with every word of the FCRA, an Illinois judge let a suit proceed against Sprint over background checks, holding that the alleged technical violation of the statute can move forward despite the fact that the plaintiff suffered no actual harm. An applicant for a position at a Sprint store in Chicago signed a form titled, “Authorization for Background Investigation.” He then sued the company asserting a violation of Section 1681 of the FCRA, arguing that Sprint willfully ran afoul of the statute because the authorization form did not consist solely of the required disclosure. The employer responded with a motion to dismiss because the applicant suffered no actual harm. Whether or not the applicant suffered any harm was irrelevant, the court said, as the “FCRA exists to protect the privacy and economic interests of consumers.” Congress established enforceable statutory rights in the FCRA and created a remedy within the Act that was not dependent upon evidence of harm.

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