T-Mobile Accused Of Conducting Background Checks Without Proper Consent

Allegations indicate that the wireless network operator illegally obtained consumer credit reports belonging to both applicants and employees.

Plaintiff Justin Grant, a former T-Mobile employee, initially lodged the suit on behalf of the proposed class in the Superior Court of the State of California; a few weeks ago, the suit was transitioned to California federal court. The suit claims that T-Mobile USA Inc. violated both the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and the state's Investigative Consumer Reporting Agencies Act (ICRAA) by improperly conducting background research on their staff and job candidates.

Grant's claims are based on the premise that T-Mobile failed to provide proper disclosures to employees and applicants prior to conducting a background check. The complaint further alleges that T-Mobile failed to secure requisite authorizations as required under the FCRA. Furthermore, the plaintiff alleges that the contents of this background check led to his termination.

The proposed class includes all prospective employees and/or employees employed by, or formerly employed by T-Mobile in the United States who, as a condition of employment, were required to submit to a background check and who filled out T-Mobile's standard FCRA disclosure form at any time during the period beginning five years prior to the filing of the complaint. Grant and the proposed FCRA class seek compensatory and statutory damages, penalties and punitive damages.

T-Mobile responded to allegations by asserting a total of 49 "separate and distinct" defenses indicating compliance with both the FCRA and the ICRAA in handling both Grant's and the proposed class members' consumer reports. One of T-Mobile's specific claims is that the plaintiffs failed to read T-Mobile's background check disclosure thoroughly or at all.

Employers are encouraged to review all requirements associated with disclosure and consent forms associated with the FCRA and internal policies to support compliant protocols and processes.

Posted: March 26, 2021

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