Background Checks

A California federal judge recently dismissed a proposed class action that alleged Kohl’s Department Stores Inc. improperly ran background checks on job applicants. In the finding, U.S. Magistrate Judge Joseph C. Spero ruled that the two former employees who filed the suit had not demonstrated any willful violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

Plaintiffs Kayonie Coleman and Diane Pemberton alleged that Kohl’s violated the FCRA’s “clear and conspicuous” and standalone requirements when it combined an application allowing criminal violations screening with a Consent and Disclosure form allowing a search of applicants’ credit histories.

Judge Spero found that the Consent and Disclosure forms were acceptable under the FCRA despite containing other “relevant information such as the consumer reporting agency and the consumer’s right to review the report obtained.”

Although Judge Spero dismissed the California Consumer Credit Reporting Agencies Act claim with prejudice, he dismissed four of the five claims with leave to amend. In their amended complaint, the plaintiffs are alleging that Kohl’s has systematically failed to disclose its screening process or to obtain permission to run background checks.

For more information or to discuss an evaluation of your company’s current screening processes, we invite you to give us a call at (765) 932-5917.