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Class action brewing against coffee chain for FCRA violations

Starbucks was hit with a proposed class action alleging the coffeehouse chain takes adverse employment action against applicants based on the results of background checks without first providing them with a copy of their reports and a summary of rights, as required by the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

The lead plaintiff in the suit alleges that upon receiving an initial consumer report with inaccurate criminal information, a Starbucks store manager called the plaintiff and informed him the criminal history on his consumer report disqualified him from working for the coffee chain. The background check contained criminal information from another individual that was “erroneously mixed” in with the plaintiff’s information, the suit says.

The plaintiff alleges that a day after Starbucks rescinded the job offer by phone he received a copy of his consumer report.

The complaint claims that Starbucks routinely made adverse employment decisions based on the results of consumer reports without providing copies of those reports to applicants to review and dispute information that may be inaccurate or to explain the results.

“This practice violates one of the most fundamental protections afforded to job applicants under the FCRA and runs counter to longstanding regulatory guidance,” the suit says.

The suit seeks to certify a nationwide class of individuals who, since Sept. 20, 2015, Starbucks took adverse action against based on the results of a consumer report that was not provided to them by Starbucks, along with a written description of their rights under the FCRA, at least five business days before the adverse action was taken.

The case is Wills v. Starbucks Corp., case number 1:17-cv-03654, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.

Source: Law360.com, 9/22/2017

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