Lowe’s Accused of FCRA Violations

Home improvement store Lowe’s is accused of violating the FCRA. The claims are part of a putative class action suit filed in the Western District of North Carolina.

According to the complaint, Lowe’s offered Anthony Hale a sales position contingent on a background check in March 2020. After the offer, Hale stopped applying for jobs and even turned down a job at another home improvement store. But in April, Hale received a text message from a Lowe’s employee that his background check didn’t pass. Hale responded to the message requesting a copy of his report. He alleges that he never received a copy of the report or the FCRA summary of rights.  The complaint alleges that:

Simply put, Defendant violated [the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”)] because, before taking adverse action against the Plaintiff, it did not provide him either with a copy of his consumer report or with the summary of rights required under [the FCRA].

As we have previously discussed, the FCRA has specific requirements for employers who are thinking about taking adverse action against a candidate based, in whole or in part, on information from a background report.  This includes, but is not limited to, providing the candidate with a copy of both the background report and written summary of rights under the FCRA before taking adverse action against the candidate.

Complaint Proposes a Class

Hale’s complaint aims to highlight more than just his experience. The complaint outlines a proposed class of others impacted by Lowe’s background check procedures. The proposed class includes all consumers in the United States who over the last five years:

  • Were subject to a background check provided to Lowe’s;
  • Based, in whole or in part, on information contained in the reports, were entered into Lowe’s computer system with a code indicating they were “ineligible” for hire or continued employment; and
  • Didn’t receive a copy of their report or FCRA summary of rights from Lowe’s at least five business days before they were entered in Lowe’s computer system with a code indicating they were ineligible for hire or continued employment.

Multiple Lawsuits May Show Willfulness

The complaint claims that Defendant’s alleged violations of the FCRA were willful.

The foregoing violations were willful. Defendant acted in deliberate or reckless disregard of its obligations and the rights of Plaintiff and other Pre-Adverse Action Class Members under [the FCRA].

The complaint states that Lowe’s previously settled a nationwide class claim for alleged violations of the FCRA and should be on “heightened notice of [the FCRA’s] requirements as a result of the… litigation”.

This is the second time Defendant has been sued for nearly identical violations of the FCRA, making its FCRA violations alleged herein particularly egregious and willful.

Hale’s complaint states that this, among other things, is proof the company’s alleged violations of the FCRA were “willful.”

This case was only filed in February 2022 and is still in its early stages.  At this point in the litigation, the allegations against Lowe’s remain only allegations. Verified Credentials will continue to monitor the case status and release updates.

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