FCRA class action filed against Florida hotel group over background checks
A Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) class action has been filed against the hospitality company Naples Hotel Group LLC, alleging the defendant did not provide two Florida women with proper background check authorization forms and disclosures of their rights.
Lead plaintiffs Shawana Sanders and Kenyatta Williams, who are former employees of the hotel group, say authorization forms used to obtain their consumer reports during the application process contained "extraneous provisions," distracting them from understanding the full scope of the disclosure in violation of FCRA regulations.
According to the suit, the defendant also allegedly failed to provide the women with a standalone authorization form containing only a disclosure of their FCRA rights. In addition, the complaint claims that Naples took "adverse action" against the plaintiffs in not providing them copies of their background reports along with an explanation of their rights as mandated by the FCRA. As a result, the case says, the women were denied their law-given opportunity to respond to possibly inaccurate information within the background screening report.
“Without clear notice that a consumer report is going to be procured, applicants and employees are deprived of the opportunity to make informed decisions or otherwise assert protected rights,” the complaint says.
The FCRA regulates the use of background checks, ordering employers to obtain an applicant's authorization prior to a screening via a "stand-alone disclosure requirement." Per FCRA mandate, the employer must also allow applicants the opportunity to dispute any negative findings in a background check.
Judicial decisions on past FCRA disclosure form claims vary, according to Atlanta-based law firm Troutman Sanders. In the 2017 case, Syed v. M-I, LLC, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals argued that a prospective employer "willfully" violated the FCRA by including a liability waiver in its background check disclosure form. The decision was deemed significant for employers, in that it highlighted the defendant's conduct as a "willful" violation of the FCRA.
The more recent suit against Naples was originally filed in state court and has since been moved to federal court in Florida.
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