California Brewery Files Motion to Dismiss in FCRA Violations Case

A California federal judge was urged to toss a proposed class action lawsuit that alleges Stone Brewing Co. violated state and federal law when it failed to adequately inform applicants about background checks.

The motion brought by the plaintiff, Jesse Dominguez, claims that the brewery violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), the Investigative Consumer Reporting Agencies Act and California's Unfair Competition Law, among others. Dominguez specifically contests that the disclosure for a consumer report and an investigative consumer report were combined and not issued as stand-alone documents.

In response, the brewery argues that the report was secured upon the plaintiff having signed the authorization form. Stone Brewing also contends that the plaintiff was knowledgeable of the background check per the contents of a job offer letter issued in April 2015 which expressly indicated that his employment hinged on the satisfactory results of a background check.

In support of their motion to dismiss, Stone Brewing contests that the plaintiff failed to plead allegations of actual damages or demonstrate evidence of a willful violation of the FCRA. The brewery also argues that by waiting four years to file his suit, Dominguez missed the two-year statute of limitations under the FCRA.

A separate motion to compel arbitration was also filed by Stone Brewing. The motion argues that when Dominguez applied for the job he agreed (by separately initialing an arbitration provision) to arbitrate all claims and disputes related to his employment.

Employers are encouraged to review their applicant documentation to ensure that all paperwork is FCRA compliant. A review of state and federal laws as it pertains to pre-employment hiring processes is also recommended to ensure processes are being handled compliantly.

Posted: March 27, 2020

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