Background Checks

Dave & Buster’s (D&B’s) is caught up in a lawsuit that could be a game-changer for the entertainment-centered company. Joseph Alvarez has filed a class action against a Florida D&B’s alleging that it used background checks for employment decisions without providing a copy of the report to the applicants, which would be a violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). The complaint arose after Alvarez applied for a line cook position with the Orlando D&B’s. After receiving a negative background check, the suit alleges, D&B’s withdrew the offer for the position without sharing the consumer report with Alvarez or giving him an opportunity to respond to the information.

Furthermore, Alvarez’s complaint alleges that the restaurant chain frequently uses background checks without employee knowledge for decisions in termination, reduction of hours, position changes, hiring and promotions. If these allegations are proven true, Dave & Busters could face a punitive judgment for engaging in such broad practices that undermine the protections afforded to workers under the FCRA.

We will follow this action and report on its outcome. In the meantime, the suit should remind employers that even when employment decisions appear to be reasonable (to the hiring company), the organization is still bound by law to provide a copy of any negative reports to an applicant and give them a chance to dispute the information.