Settlement of $4.4m Lawsuit Over Improper Background Checks Suggests Companies Work with 3rd Party Background Screening Companies, States CriminalBackgroundRecords.com

In April 2014 Swift Transportation of Arizona came to agreement with the court and settled a class action lawsuit alleging the improper notification of hiring policies and procedures. “Lawsuits, such as the Swift case, highlight the need for all types of businesses to work with a third-party background screening company to remain fully compliant with law and reduce financial exposure due to legal action.”

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Criminal Background Records

Criminal Background Records

There are an increasing number of lawsuits enforcing the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Companies large and small are exposing themselves to potential lawsuits and subsequent financial penalty if they do not closely comply with the FCRA.

Waltham, MA (PRWEB) May 22, 2014

Companies engage in pre-employment background screening in order to gain specific data and information on a candidate. By utilizing public records and related information, employers can gain valuable insight into a candidate’s past, information that could greatly assist in the decision making process. However, in providing such information candidates are protected under the law. In 2013 a lawsuit was filed against Swift Transportation of Arizona of the alleged mishandling of internal hiring policies. Recently, Swift agreed to settle the class action suit.

From Landlinemag.com (APR. 25, 14):
Swift Transportation has agreed to pay $4.4 million to settle a class action lawsuit filed in July 2013, after a truck driver filed a complaint against the mega-carrier. The driver alleged that Swift failed to “properly” disclose its hiring practices, including criminal background checks. http://www.landlinemag.com/Story.aspx?StoryID=26929#.U2rhUIFdUvA

The heart of the issue is a failure to fulfill the requirements of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

From Lexology.com (APR. 24, 2014):
Plaintiffs alleged that Swift failed to disclose that it would obtain a consumer report for employment purposes, and failed to advise the applicants that they could have access to, and dispute the accuracy of, the consumer report used during the hiring process. Ultimately, the plaintiffs argued that the failure to disclose these rights amounted to a lack of authorization for Swift to view the reports. http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=387a64f1-79b5-4ea5-bb6b-acde3b8b47d8

Adam Almeida, President and CEO of CriminalBackgroundRecords.com states: “There are an increasing number of lawsuits enforcing the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Companies large and small are exposing themselves to potential lawsuits and subsequent financial penalty if they do not closely comply with the FCRA.”

Disclosure is one of the critical elements within the FCRA. The law states that all applicants must be provided with pre-adverse action notice as well as sign a release form allowing the employer access and use of consumer reports such as criminal background checks. There are additional rights to the consumer and limits to the employer outlined on the Federal Trade Commission website or at http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/pdf-0096-fair-credit-reporting-act.pdf

“Ultimately a best business practice would be for companies to work with a third-party background screening company. A third-party background screening company is tasked with remaining complaint and up-to-date with all aspects and requirements pertaining to the use of public records and the FCRA,” states Almeida.

The case stated herein is Ellis, et al. v. Swift Transportation Co. of Arizona, LLC, Case No. 13-CV473 (E.D. Va. April 21, 2014).

CriminalBackgroundRecords.com is a third-party background screening company, with an experienced staff and a keen focus in staying current with all laws and regulations governing pre-employment background screening. Working with a third-party background screening company such as CriminalBackgroundRecords.com is a best practice for companies large and small.


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