Court Holds Applicant Alleged Sufficient Harm to Proceed with FCRA Action Against Employer

The Court of Appeals for the Western District of Missouri reversed a trial court's granting of summary judgement in part, finding that one of the plaintiffs did state sufficient injuries caused by an employer's "procedural" FCRA violation to have standing.

In Courtright, et al. v. O'Reilly Automotive, three applicants filed suit asserting adverse action claims against O'Reilly Automotive. The plaintiffs alleged that O'Reilly violated FCRA requirements by failing to provide the applicants with their background check reports before taking adverse employment actions.

After the initial trial court entered summary judgment in favor of the employer, the applicants appealed. The Missouri Court of Appeals found that two of the three applicants could not allege sufficient injuries to establish that the employer's procedural violation of the FCRA's pre-adverse action requirements was the cause of their alleged harm. However, it the court concluded that the third applicant, Anthony Bradley, did allege sufficient harm caused by the procedural violation to have standing.

Bradley demonstrated that he was not provided the results of his background check before adverse action was taken. Bradley was unable to dispute his report until he requested a background report from O'Reilly's third party vendor. Once he disputed the information in the report, the background check vendor corrected the incorrect information and provided the corrected report to O'Reilly. The new report showed that the applicant had not been convicted and sentenced for the previously reported crime, as the original report claimed.

The Court of Appeals concluded that if O'Reilly had furnished the report to Bradley before taking final adverse action, he would have had the chance to resolve the error.


Posted: July 23, 2020

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