The popular restaurant Five Guys Burgers and Fries has a potential class action lawsuit by a California employee for not conducting background checks in compliance with current laws. California state law and the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) state that clear disclosure must be given to all employees and applicants before conducting a check into their histories for criminal or financial issues.
Class Action Suits Could Cost Companies Millions
Similar legal action was filed this past February against UPS (United Parcel Service) in Florida. This trend of lawsuits being filed against employers indicates that companies are under more scrutiny than ever before. It is imperative to conduct proper screening in a way that is always in compliance with state and federal laws.
Plaintiffs in both lawsuits against Five Guys Burgers and Fries and UPS are seeking class action status so that all former, current and prospective from the past five years who were treated in this manner will covered. The plaintiff in the burger chain lawsuit seeks restitution, actual and liquidated damages, declaratory relief, unpaid wages and pre-judgement interest on these monies. They are also seeking civil and statutory penalties in addition to legal fees and costs. Five Guys Burgers and Fries is also charged with various wage and hours violations.
FCRA Proper Screening Disclosure Protocols Must Be Followed
In the UPS lawsuit, statutory damages of as much as $1,000 per screening violation is sought by the plaintiffs, in addition to punitive damages and reimbursements for attorneys’ fees. The outcomes of both cases hinge on the plaintiff attorneys’ ability to show conclusively that there was a failure of their employers to properly disclose background information and that this was a regular practice of the company, not just a misstep.
As for the companies, they must show that they do in fact follow FCRA protocols. This must be demonstrated through written documentation and related proof that shows they are not in violation of key employment screening laws at both the state and federal levels.
The companies being sued will have to show evidence that they informed their employees of their screening process and also provided them with copies of the background check information that resulted in their taking adverse action. This documentation must have been provided before taking the action and must have included a copy of the Federal Trade Commission’s pamphlet entitled “Summary of Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.”
Proper Screening Using Professional Employment Screening Can Help to Ensure Compliance
These cases are indicative of just how important it is for employers to be informed of the laws that govern hiring processes and proper screening from state to state. Not staying in compliance and conducting DIY employment screening can result in serious legal and financial consequences.
Businesses that are not sure of the guidelines they must follow can take much of the guesswork out of the process by partnering with an experienced employment screening company. By outsourcing background checks to a professional, companies can rest assured that the proper screening will take place in a way that is compliant with state, local and national laws. This allows companies to stay focused on other key aspects of hiring so that the very best candidates can be selected.
Disclaimer Statement: All information presented is never intended as legal advice and is for information purposes only.