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Judge refuses to toss background check suit against USPS

A Wisconsin federal judge found that an applicant who claims the U.S. Postal Service failed to give him an adequate amount of time to dispute the information returned on his background check sufficiently alleged an injury.

USPS procured a background check on plaintiff Rondo Tyus through a third-party background screening firm. The results of the background check included information stating that Tyus was jailed for a 2011 misdemeanor (the sentence was stayed) and also incorrectly labeled a prior ordinance violation as “criminal in nature.” Furthermore, the background check provider reported that Tyus failed to admit to any prior criminal convictions when he had in fact admitted to the misdemeanor conviction on his job application.

Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, applicants are supposed to be given five business days to dispute or explain the findings of their background check, but Tyus said that USPS denied his application after only three days.

USPS argued that it rejected Tyus’ application for reasons other than the criminal record inaccuracies reported on his background check, and thus the window for disputing the aforementioned items was irrelevant.

Ultimately, the judge ruled that the inaccuracies on the report may still have swayed USPS’s decision to hire the plaintiff.

“While USPS contends that its error did not matter, the court cannot conclude that it is implausible that the inaccuracies in the consumer report may have affected USPS’s decision,” the judge wrote in his decision.

The case is Rondo Tyus et al. v. United States Postal Service, case number 15-cv-1467, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin.

Source: Law360.com, 6/20/2017

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