FCRA Class of 5 Million Walmart Employees Certified Over Improper Background Check Disclosures

Employers who conduct background checks on prospective employees would be wise to keep an eye on a lawsuit in California which was just granted class certification after an employee at Walmart alleged the retail giant violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act by not providing a “clear and conspicuous” disclosure when obtaining reports for employment purposes as required under the law.

The potential class includes 5 million individuals who applied for a job at Walmart.

When obtaining a consumer report for employment purposes, the FCRA requires that the report must be made “in a document that consists solely of the disclosure.” The plaintiffs in the case of Randy Pitre v. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. allege that the defendant’s disclosures included “extraneous and confusing information.”

The extraneous information that accompanied the disclosure was a notification about relevant state laws, according to a published report. Representatives from Walmart also reportedly admitted during a deposition that the forms it provided to employees were “unclear and possible confusing,” according to the report.

The defendant attempted to argue that the plaintiffs lacked standing to sue because they did not suffer a concrete injury, but the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that a “harm alleged due to the violation of the FCRA” satisfies concreteness, according to the ruling certifying the class.

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