A class action lawsuit was filed against Bottling Group LLC, a subsidiary of Pepsi Co, Inc, by a job applicant, Altareek Grice, who alleges that he was not properly notified when the company procured a consumer report on him. (Altareek Grice v. Pepsi Beverages Co. et al., Case No. 3:17-cv-01842, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California)
Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) employers are required to provide clear and conspicuous disclosure, on a document consisting solely of the disclosure, as well as obtain the consumer’s written authorization prior to procuring the consumer report. This process is commonly referred to as “Disclosure and Authorization”. If the court finds that there are damages, PepsiCo and its subsidiary could face fines of $100 to $1,000 per violation.
While this case is still in the initial stages of litigation, this should serve as a reminder to employers to review their FCRA forms, in particular their Disclosure and Authorization forms, as well as their Adverse Action forms.
Employers should also leverage their background screening provider for assistance with FCRA compliance. Although background screening providers cannot (and should not) provide legal counsel, experienced and accredited background screening providers can provide end users with valuable tools and resources to help them comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act and its analogous state laws.
Examples of these tools and resources include, but are not limited to, sample template FCRA and state-specific forms, document/process fulfillment and automated compliance tools which are offered directly through the background screener’s online portal. Furthermore, most established background screening providers have relationships with experienced, industry-leading attorneys. If outside counsel is sought, the background screening provider will be able to refer the employer to an attorney that specializes in background screening and the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
For more information on how CRC can help you comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act, please reach out to our dedicated Customer Care Team at (877) 272-0266!