In Long v. Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation, the named plaintiffs applied for positions as bus operators with the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (“SEPTA”). SEPTA allegedly extended each of the plaintiffs a conditional offer of employment, which was contingent upon a background check. In each instance, the plaintiffs disclosed the existence of a drug conviction to SEPTA. SEPTA then obtained consumer reports on the plaintiffs, which demonstrated that the plaintiffs did in fact have one or more felony drug convictions. The plaintiffs contend that their conditional offers of employment were revoked as a result of their criminal history.
The plaintiffs filed their class action complaint against SEPTA in April in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, alleging in part that SEPTA violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”) by failing to provide job applicants with a clear and conspicuous disclosure that a consumer report may be obtained about the applicant for employment purposes, and to provide plaintiffs with a pre-adverse action letter and copy of the consumer report before revoking their conditional offers of employment. In June, SEPTA filed a motion to dismiss based on Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins, arguing that the plaintiffs have not alleged facts sufficient to show that they suffered a concrete and particularized injury as a result of the purported FCRA violations. More specifically, SEPTA claimed that because the plaintiffs disclosed the existence of their drug convictions to SEPTA, and the convictions on the consumer reports were in fact accurate, the plaintiffs have not suffered any injury–in–fact as a consequence of SEPTA’s purported FCRA violations. The plaintiffs recently filed their memorandum in opposition, arguing that SEPTA’s FCRA violations caused the plaintiffs to suffer particular harm – namely, invasion of privacy and informational injury.
Troutman Sanders will continue to monitor this case for the Court’s ruling on the Spokeo-related arguments.