Pumpkin Spice & Everything Nice – That’s what FCRA class action suits are made of

Another Starbucks lawsuit foams up

An applicant has filed suit in Georgia claiming Starbucks violated his rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Plaintiff Kevin Wills says the employer carried out adverse action against him without first providing him with a copy of his background report and giving him a chance to contest the findings on which Starbucks took action.

According to the complaint, the background report showed criminal records of a man named Kevin Willis of Minnesota, which included two domestic violence convictions. Wills claims he was informed via phone that he was no longer being considered for the position based on the results of his consumer report. It wasn’t until several days later that he received a copy of his background check and a pre-adverse action letter from the background check company.

Under FCRA regulations, an applicant must be given a copy of the background check and a written description of his rights five business days prior to taking adverse action. This gives the consumer time to review and dispute information that may be inaccurate.

This isn’t the first time Starbucks has faced a FCRA class action lawsuit this year. In January Jonathon Santiago Rosario of Colorado filed a similar suit against the company. He claimed that Starbucks denied employment before he received a copy of his background check, which contained false information. Even after correcting the results through the background check company’s dispute process, Starbucks declined him employment.

Each of Starbucks’s job postings includes the following statement: “Starbucks is an equal opportunity employer of all qualified individuals; including minorities, women, veterans, and individuals with disabilities, and regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. Starbucks will consider for employment qualified applicants with criminal histories in a manner consistent with all federal, state, and local ordinances.”

Even though a company may have FCRA compliant policies in place, if a manager isn’t aware of them or takes illegal action, the company is liable. FCRA regulations can vary on location. On top of federal policies, there are often state-level and local laws that can apply to your employment decisions when it comes to background checks.

These circumstances show that even large corporations can make mistakes with FCRA compliance. True Hire can help you take the guesswork out of staying legal throughout your hiring process. Whether you need guidance on policies and procedures or want to create a complete decision-making system, we have your back. We can take care of all your adverse action letters and deal with applicants who dispute background check information. With more than 20 years of experience, our team is trained to handle these difficult situations in an ever-changing legal environment.


Give yourself more time, better talent, and maximize the power of the people in your organization. Have questions or want to talk challenges and viable solutions? We’re here for you.

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