Litigation Update: Home Depot Hit for Employment Background Checks

Angela Preston

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Litigation Update

Home Depot has been hit with another class action lawsuit[1] alleging violations of federal law based on its employment background screening practices. The mega home improvement store is facing a second Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) lawsuit—this one filed in the Northern District of Georgia on February 11, 2015. The focus of the present case is, like many other cases we have seen in recent weeks, the portion of the FCRA that requires a “clear and conspicuous disclosure” about the background check that is made in writing “in a document that consists solely of the disclosure.”

Romulus Albu, a job applicant at Colorado-based, Delta Mechanical, Inc., a contractor for Home Depot, claims that the disclosure form that Home Depot provided for the background check included extraneous items in violation of the statute. The suit is seeking statutory damages of not less than $100 and not more than $1,000 per violation, reasonable costs, attorney’s fees, an injunction, and a declaration that the Defendant’s conduct is unlawful.

Case Name: Romulus Albu v. The Home Depot, Inc., Case No. 1:15-cv-00412-CC-JFK, U.S. District Ct. for the Northern District of Georgia.

File Date: February 11, 2015

Cause of Action: Class Action, Fair Credit Reporting Act 15 U.S.C. § 1681b (b)(2) Disclosure and Authorization

Bottom Line

This case is interesting because the plaintiff was seeking work with Home Depot as a contractor through a third party.  Since the background requirement and the forms were specific to Home Depot, Home Depot is the target of the suit and named as the sole Defendant. For more information on how to avoid being the next target of an FCRA class action claim, click here to see an FCRA round-up and tips for employers.

[1] Home Depot was sued in July of last year for alleged violations of a different provision of the FCRA involving adverse action notices. The case has since been voluntarily dismissed by the Plaintiff. A summary of the claims in that action can be found here.



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Angela Preston
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Angela Preston

Vice President of Compliance & General Counsel at EmployeeScreenIQ
Angela Preston has more than 20 years as a licensed attorney and over 10 years in the background screening area. She serves on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS), is a member of the NAPBS Background Screening Credentialing Council (BSCC), and is actively involved in the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and ASIS International. Angela is also a member of the Ohio State and Columbus Bar Associations. Angela has direct oversight and management of compliance programs, and will provide guidance in complex legal matters including state and federal legislation, EEO law, client education, adjudication, pre/adverse action process, NAPBS Accreditation and client and vendor contract management.
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