Job applicant awarded $1M after being rejected for admitting to previously using a false SSN
A federal court in California ruled that a job applicant’s admission that he used a false Social Security number cannot be the basis for disqualifying him from employment on good moral character grounds.
The court awarded the plaintiff over $1 million dollars as a result of the employer’s actions.
During an interview and routine background check, the plaintiff admitted to previously using a false SSN to seek employment. The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) denied his employment application and sent him a rejection letter stating that his past usage of a false SSN showed that he was “not suitable to assume the duties and responsibilities of a peace officer.”
The letter also stated that using the SSN showed a “willful disregard of the law” and a “lack of honesty, integrity, and good judgment.”
The plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the CDCR seeking damages based on a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. He argued that as a Latino job applicant, he was subjected to national origin discrimination because the job application process required him to disclose that he had used a false SSN in the past.
The court held that while California law required the CDCR to conduct a background investigation to ensure good moral character, the “good moral character” hiring policy had a significant disparate impact on Latino applicants like Guerrero, even though it was facially neutral. In light of that, the CDCR had a duty to apply the relevant EEOC factors – which it failed to do – resulting in the court ruling in favor of Guerrero on the Title VII disparate impact claim.
Source: Fisher Phillips, 8/1/2016
We cannot express enough how much we have enjoyed working with BIG! It has really benefitted our processing and ease of doing business!
I enjoy collaborating with BIG, and know that if I have to reach out with a question/concern, a positive attitude with a willingness to find resolve is on the other side of an email or a phone call.
You have been the most professional and most helpful business partner that I have ever been associated with — always there to assist us and with rapid turnaround times.
I am confident whenever we add a product with your company that I will have a good experience.
We have received superior service and we know this is what you and your team strive for. We are grateful for the dedication, level of professionalism and effort shown.