August 19, 2022

Volume XII, Number 231

Advertisement
Advertisement

August 19, 2022

Subscribe to Latest Legal News and Analysis

August 18, 2022

Subscribe to Latest Legal News and Analysis

August 17, 2022

Subscribe to Latest Legal News and Analysis

August 16, 2022

Subscribe to Latest Legal News and Analysis
Advertisement

Stanford Facing FCRA Class Action (Again)

Stanford University is facing a new FCRA class action with, potentially, over a thousand class members. And it’s not the first time Stanford has faced these claims.

According to the class action complaint in Richards v. Leland Stanford Junior University et al, Theresa Richard applied and was hired to work as a dining hall worker at Stanford University. During the application process, Ms. Richard completed Stanford’s standard application form, which permitted Stanford to obtain a consumer report on the Ms. Richard’s background. The clause in question provided:

I authorize a thorough investigation of my prior employment, education background, criminal record and, where applicable to a position, credit check and/or driving record. I agree to cooperate in such an investigation, to execute any consent forms required in connection with those investigations, and release form [sic] all liability and responsibility all persons or entities requesting or supplying such information. I understand that employment is conditional based on investigation results.

Ms. Richard’s class action complaint alleges that Stanford both failed to make a proper disclosure and failed to get proper authorization under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Specifically, Ms. Richard cites to 15 U.S.C. § 1681b(b)(2)(A)(i) and (ii), which provides:

Except as provided in subparagraph (B), a person may not procure a consumer report, or cause a consumer report to be procured, for employment purposes with respect to any consumer, unless–

  • a clear and conspicuous disclosure has been made in writing to the consumer at any time before the report is procured or caused to be procured, in a document that consists solely of the disclosure, that a consumer report may be obtained for employment purposes;

  • the consumer has authorized in writing (which authorization may be made on the document referred to in clause (i)) the procurement of the report by that person.

15 U.S.C. § 1681b(b)(2)(A)(i). The complaint seeks statutory damages of up to $1,000 per violation, punitive damages, attorney’s fees and costs. Stanford’s exposure here may be significant: Ms. Richard’s claims assert potentially thousands of violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act and more than one thousand class members.

Notably, this isn’t the first time that Stanford has faced FCRA claims for the disclosures in their application forms. In 2015, Stanford faced precisely the same claims from another employee.

In Lagos v. Leland Stanford Junior Univ., the plaintiff brought a class action complaint, asserting the same FCRA claims as Ms. Richards. Lagos survived a motion to dismiss in that case. No. 5:15-CV-04524-PSG, 2015 WL 7878129, at *2 (N.D. Cal. Dec. 4, 2015). Ms. Richard’s Complaint purports to bring the class action on behalf of herself and all individuals for whom a consumer report was procured by Stanford for employment purposes dating back to August 16, 2015 – the same month Lagos filed his class action Complaint against Stanford.

Stay tuned.

Copyright © 2022 Womble Bond Dickinson (US) LLP All Rights Reserved.National Law Review, Volume VIII, Number 305
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

About this Author

Womble Bond Dickinson, LLP's regional heritage and local knowledge — combined with a transatlantic outlook — generate the insights capable of unlocking more opportunities for our clients.

With locations on both sides of the Atlantic, we provide the breadth of legal experience and services to meet our clients’ needs without losing the intimacy of being connected to our different communities.

These strong local and regional ties enable us to remain close to our clients and the issues they care about.

...
336-721-3734
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement