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Whole Foods Sued Over Worker Background-Check Procedure

Whole Foods Market California Inc. was slapped with a proposed nationwide class action accusing the company of using a legally invalid form to get job applicants to consent to background checks as part of the hiring process. The complaint claims that the form Whole Foods uses as part of its online application to get permission from applicants to carry out consumer reports, including criminal background checks, credit checks and other similar reports, is facially invalid under the FCRA. The complaint alleges that Whole Food’s online authorization form contains language releasing those who obtained the consumer reports from all liability, in violation of the FCRA’s requirement that the authorizations be pristine documents that contain nothing other than the required disclosures and the requested authorization. “It’s not only illegal but also has a lot of negative ramifications when companies don’t properly comply with the law,” said Craig J. Ackermann of Ackermann & Tilajef PC, who represents the plaintiff. The suit alleges that the use of the invalid form constitutes a willful violation of FCRA’s requirement that the authorization forms be set forth in a document that consists solely of the disclosure.

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