Class Action Lawsuit Filed By Blumenthal, Nordrehaug & Bhowmik Alleges that Whole Foods Violated the FCRA By Conducting Background Checks Without Valid Consent

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The former Whole Foods employee alleges that the consent form Whole Foods used for procuring his consumer report and conducting a background check violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act

Employment Law Lawyers Blumenthal NOrdrehaug Bhowmik
the natural foods chain violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act by allegedly conducting background checks and obtaining credit reports on potential employees without valid authorization

On March 21, 2014, the San Diego employment law lawyers at Blumenthal Nordrehaug & Bhowmik filed a class action lawsuit against Whole Foods Market California, Inc. alleging the natural foods chain violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act by allegedly conducting background checks and obtaining credit reports on potential employees without valid authorization to do so. Hathaway, et al. vs. Whole Foods Market California, Inc., Case No. 3:14-cv-00663-DMS-NLS is currently pending in the United States District Court for the Southern District of California.

The Class Action Complaint alleges that Whole Foods unlawfully inserted liability release provisions into forms purporting to grant Whole Foods the authority to obtain and use consumer report information for employment purposes. The Complaint further states that this practice is prohibited by the Fair Credit Reporting Act because the authorization forms signed by job applicants must not include any additional information on them, including, in this case, the clause that releases from any and all liability, Whole Foods and other potential third parties who may become involved in the background screening process.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act 15 U.S.C. Section 1681, et seq. provides individuals with a number of rights. Specifically, pertaining to employment-related background checks, the FCRA provides that a prospective employee must give valid consent to the background check. The FCRA requires a signed authorization and disclosure from the applicant, sometimes referred to as a "consent" form. The authorization and disclosure form must be executed and signed by the applicant prior to an employer requesting or conducting a background check. According to the Complaint, the FCRA requires that no extraneous information can be attached or included on the consent form itself. The authorization and disclosure must stand alone according to the FCRA.

The San Diego labor law attorneys at Blumenthal, Nordrehaug & Bhowmik represent current and former employees in class action employment law lawsuits, including complaints for missed meal periods, unpaid wages, wrongful termination, and violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Don’t wait for your statute of limitations to run on your potential claims. Feel free to contact one of their experienced labor lawyers today by clicking here or calling (866) 771-7099.

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Nicholas De Blouw
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