Military communications contractor L3 Technologies has recently come under scrutiny over allegations that its onboarding practices violate the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).
Plaintiff Joseph Estes, a mechanic hired by L3’s San Diego office in Sept. 2017 and performed work for L3 in Camp Pendleton, filed the proposed class action lawsuit in California federal court Tuesday. Estes states that during the application process he filled out the L3 “Background Investigation Consent” form permitting the company to obtain a consumer report verifying his background and experience. However, this authorization and disclosure form failed to comply with FCRA requirements.
According to court documents, L3’s Background Investigation Consent” form states: “I release L3 Technologies Inc. and/or its agents and any person or entity, which provides information to this authorization, form, any and all liabilities, claims or law suits in regard to the information obtained from any and all the above referenced sources used.” Specifically, the L3 Technologies Job Background Check class action lawsuit alleges that this inclusion of this liability release provision in the background check disclosure and authorization form violates the FCRA.
“The FCRA prohibits this practice and requires that forms granting the authority to access and use consumer report information for employment purposes be stand-alone forms, and not include any additional information or agreements,” the complaint reads.
Additionally, while the disclosure and authorization may be combined in a single document, the FTC warns that the form should not include any “extraneous information.” This requirement is meant to prevent the consumer from being distracted by other information side-by-side with the disclosure, such as the extra provision at the center of this suit.
“Importantly, no extraneous information can be attached or included on the consent form,” according to the L3 Technologies Job Background Check class action lawsuit. “Defendant’s decision to include liability release provisions in its disclosure and authorization forms is contrary to the plain language of the statute and unambiguous regulatory guidance from the FTC.”
Estes is filing the proposed class action lawsuit on behalf of all who signed L3’s allegedly FCRA-violating form that included an authorization and liability release clause within the last five years. He is seeking statutory damages of “no less than $100″ and up to $1,000 per job applicant for the “willful” FCRA violations. The lawsuit also contends that L3 “”acted in deliberate disregard of its obligations and the rights of the plaintiff.”
L3 Technologies is not the only company to come under fire in the past few years for alleged non FCRA compliant job application background check forms. In 2015, Amazon was sued for including a background check authorization on its job application. The case has been currently ordered to remediation. Whole Foods Market Inc. and Home Depot have also faced similar allegations over their liability release provisions and background consent forms.
Estes is represented by Eric B. Kingsley and Kelsey M. Szamet of Kingsley & Kingsley APC.
The L3 Technologies Job Background Check Class Action Lawsuit is Estes v. L3 Technologies Inc., Case No. 3:17-cv-02356, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California.