Penn National Gaming has been hit with a class action alleging violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act’s requirement that an employer’s disclosure to a job applicant that a background check is being obtained be made in a document consisting “solely” of the disclosure.
According to the complaint filed in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas, plaintiff Patricia Halbert applied for a job at the company’s Hollywood Casino in Mississippi in August 2014. The online job application allegedly did not contain any standalone disclosures about consumer report investigations, but did contain a clause embedded with other material that said applicants were subject to a background check. Halbert was subsequently informed that her job application was rejected because of information found on her consumer report.
The FCRA requires an employer to provide a “clear and conspicuous” written disclosure to an applicant, in a document that consists “solely” of the disclosure, that a consumer report may be obtained. The employer must obtain the applicant’s written authorization. Based on this provision, Halbert filed suit, seeking to represent a class of applicants and employees of Penn National who had background checks pulled by the company without first receiving the disclosures in “solely” form.
“By systematically inserting a liability release and other extraneous information into plaintiff’s and other class members’ disclosures, defendant willfully violated the [FCRA],” states the Complaint.