Aaron R. Gelb and James R. Glenn of Vedder Price write:
Since December 2014, retail giant Michaels Stores, Inc. (Michaels) has been hit with two class action lawsuits regarding its background-check process. The lawsuits allege that Michaels violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) by having job applicants click an “I Agree” box consenting to the terms and conditions of an online job application, which include an authorization to obtain a consumer report on the applicant.
Employers utilizing a third party to obtain background checks for use in the hiring process (and other employment decisions) must comply with a number of requirements set forth in the FCRA, including that the employer give job applicants a written authorization form that includes a “clear and conspicuous” notice that a consumer report may be obtained for employment purposes. This disclosure and authorization must be part of a separate or “stand-alone” document consisting of the disclosure and nothing else. The employer must obtain the individual’s authorization before a consumer report is procured.
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