Home Improvement Retailer Accused of FCRA Violations

On February 3, 2022 a class action suit was filed against Lowe's Companies, Inc. (Lowe's), alleging the company improperly used the content of consumer reports in making employment decisions

Lowe's faces a proposed class action lawsuit claiming the company violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) when it unlawfully used job applicants' consumer reports to make adverse employment decisions without first providing subjects a copy of the report.

Plaintiff Anthony Hale applied for a position at Lowe's Hillsborough County Florida store as a sales specialist in March, 2020. Hale states he was offered the job contingent on the results of a background check. In April, 2020, Hale was informed via text that he did not pass the background check. The complaint indicates that Hale responded to the employer, requesting a copy of the report.

Hale claims that he was never supplied with a copy of the report by either Lowe's or the applicable consumer reporting agency. Hale further contends that, had Lowe's provided him with a copy of his consumer report and the opportunity to discuss its contents, he would have been able to explain that he had no felony convictions, contrary to what was included in the report.

"Plaintiff was never given an opportunity to explain anything to Defendant prior to his abrupt termination," the complaint states. "Defendant's termination of Plaintiff's employment caused Plaintiff damages in the form of lost pay, and emotional damages due to stress caused by the loss of a job he should certainly have retained."

The class includes all U.S. individuals who were the subject of a consumer report as ordered by Lowe's in the last five years. Additionally, qualifying individuals must have been logged in Lowe's system under a code indicating that the individual was ineligible for hire/continued employment and not supplied with either a copy of the report or a written summary of their FCRA rights at least five business days before the code was entered.

Employers are encouraged to review internal workflows on the dissemination of consumer reports and FCRA rights to denied applicants to ensure delivery occurs within proper timeframes and via appropriate channels.

Posted: February 17, 2022

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