The company known for their signature character, Mickey Mouse, is defending a class action claim based on questions about its background screening policies. The suit against Disney was filed in the Superior Court of California on November 1, 2013, and the complaint alleges that Disney’s policy for notifying applicants about background checks has violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).
The case is part of a bigger trend—the exponential rise in FCRA-based class action claims. The suits have been on the rise for a few reasons. The widespread adoption of employment background checks by companies over the past 10-15 years has justifiably raised awareness about the screening process. FCRA litigation is a “new” area that the trial bar seems to have only recently discovered. With statutory damages, attorney’s fees, punitive damages and costs as well as actual damages, these class actions are much more lucrative than individual plaintiff cases. Disney is not the only large scale employer to be singled out—other household names like Kmart, Domino’s, Swift Trucking, Dillard’s and Rite Aid have all been called out in FCRA-related allegations.