Walmart facing class-action suit over background checks

The retail giant is accused of failing to provide adequate notice that they would be procuring background checks on applicants and failed to secure proper authorization to obtain the checks.

The complaint claims that Walmart violated the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)’s "stand-alone" disclosure requirement by embedding the background check disclosure with extraneous information (including a liability release) and failing to provide consumers with an FCRA summary of rights form along with the investigative consumer report disclosure.

“Under the FCRA, it is unlawful to procure or cause to be procured, a consumer report or investigative consumer report for employment purposes unless the disclosure is made in a document that consists solely of the disclosure and the consumer has authorized, in writing, the procurement of the report,” the complaint claims.

The case also brings actions for failure to adhere to disclosure requirements under various California state credit reporting laws. Specifically, the plaintiff alleges a violation of the California Investigative Consumer Reporting Agencies Act (ICRAA)’s “stand-alone” disclosure requirement, as well as a violation of Section 1785.20.5(a) of the California’s Consumer Credit Reporting Agencies Act (CCRAA), which requires employers using credit reports to identify the specific basis for requesting the credit report.

The case seeks to establish a nationwide class consisting of current, former and prospective job applicants with Walmart who were subject to an unauthorized background check within the past five years. The lead plaintiff is also seeking to establish a subclass for California applicants who were affected by the violations of the state credit reporting laws.

The case is Randy Pitre v. Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Case No. 8:17-cv-01281-DOC-DFM, in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

Source:, 7/27/2017

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