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Dish settles class action over background check procedures for $1.75M

The direct-broadcast satellite service provider and the company it used to procure consumer reports on job applicants were accused of violating several tenants of the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act.

The suit, originally filed in 2012, claimed Dish and the company it used to procure its background checks, Sterling Infosystems Inc., failed to adhere to the requirements of the FCRA when they procured consumer reports on applicants without receiving the necessary authorization or even informing them of the information the company obtained from the reports.

In addition to failing to provide adequate disclosures that the company would be procuring consumer reports, the reports that Dish received were also allegedly fraught with outdated information that did not comply with the requirements of the FCRA, including arrest and citation information that never lead to criminal charges that were over seven years old.

When the report returned this noncompliant information, Sterling labeled the lead plaintiff as “high-risk,” which resulted in him being barred from performing any more work for Dish. The plaintiff claimed that he never received a copy of his background check nor a pre-adverse action notice – both a requirement under the FCRA – and therefore had no opportunity to dispute the information contained in the report.

According to Law360.com, internal documents showed that Dish “clearly knew of its disclosure obligations.”

Sterling paid $4.75 million in November 2015 to settle the claims against it.

The case is Ernst v. Dish Network LLC et al., case number 1:12-cv-08794, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Source: Law360.com, 9/7/2016

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