New Class Action Against Aerotek Staffing Agency for Violations of Fair Credit Reporting Act

EDIT: Please note that The Harman Firm, LLP, is NOT counsel in this action. According to the complaint, the plaintiffs in this lawsuit are represented by Francis & Mailman PC and Gordon Wolf & Carney. The case is Mitchell v. Aerotek Inc., et al., Case No. 1:14-cv-03691, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland. 

On November 25, 2014, Plaintiff Michael Craig Mitchell filed a lawsuit, on behalf of himself and a potentially huge class of similarly-situated individuals, against employment agency Aerotek, Inc., an operating company of Allegis Group, Inc. In their complaint, plaintiffs allege that Aerotek routinely required prospective employees to authorize the company to acquire their “consumer reports,” including information about criminal history. Plaintiffs allege that in some cases–probably many–the company took adverse employment action on the basis of the reports, without providing the required notice to the employees or allow them sufficient time to correct errors in their reports. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires employers to provide a copy of any background report prior to taking any adverse action on the basis of that report, and to do so in time for the prospective employee to rectify any inaccuracies in the report.

In this case, Aerotek offered Mr. Mitchell a position at their client United Health Care, starting in early November 2012. Aerotek then requested his a consumer report on or around November 20, 2012 and On November 30 received a criminal background report for Mr. Mitchell. This report contained extensive personal information, including information about two felony and three misdemeanor convictions, all information about other people which was falsely attributed to Mitchell. That same day, an Aerotek representative informed Mitchell that he could no longer work at United health Care because of what they learned from his background report.

Finally, on December 7, 2012, Mitchell received mail correspondence from Aerotek titled “Notice of Intent to Take Adverse Action,” along with a copy of the background report. This was the first time the report had been provided to him, which, if true, would be a clear violation of at least the following section of the FCRA:

(3) Conditions on use for adverse actions (A) In general Except as provided in subparagraph (B), in using a consumer report for
employment purposes, before taking any adverse action based in whole or in
part on the report, the person intending to take such adverse action shall
provide to the consumer to whom the report relates–

(i) a copy of the report; and (ii) a description in writing of the rights of the consumer under this subchapter, as prescribed by the Bureau under section 1681g (c)(3)
[1] of this title.

Plaintiff Mitchell requests certification of the class of similarly situated individuals, statutory damages of between $100 and $1000 per violation of the FCRA, actual damages resulting from this and similar adverse employment actions, attorney’s fees and costs, and whatever other relief the jury deems proper.

This is one of a growing number of similar large-scale FCRA class action lawsuits, several of which–including actions against Lowe’s, Swift Transportation, and Whole Foods–we have recently described here.

If you believe an employer has unlawfully taken adverse action against you on the basis of a background check, please contact The Harman Firm, LLP.