A proposed class action claims Central Garden & Pet Company has subjected current and prospective employees to unlawful background checks without first providing certain disclosures and obtaining proper authorization to do so.
The plaintiff, who worked for Central Garden & Pet between November 2019 and February 2020, claims he and other workers were provided with at least three separate forms in connection with the defendant’s intention to obtain a background report and, as a result, were unable to determine whether the forms constituted the disclosures required by law.
Central Garden & Pet Company’s background check disclosure forms, the suit alleges, contained “extraneous and superfluous language” and did not consist solely of the disclosures required by state and federal law, which rendered the background checks unauthorized.
During his application process with the defendant, the plaintiff was provided with a form entitled “ACKNOWLEDGMENT AND AUTHORIZATION” that asked the him to acknowledge that he had received at least two other forms entitled “DISCLOSURE REGARDING BACKGROUND INVESTIGATION” and “A SUMMARY OF YOUR RIGHTS UNDER THE FAIR CREDIT REPORTING ACT,” the lawsuit says. The form also included references to laws of various states, which the case claims constitutes “impermissible surplusage.”
The lawsuit additionally claims that the end of the plaintiff’s employment application contained an attestation that unlawfully included a liability release and other language considered to be “extraneous and superfluous.”
Per the case, a background report authorization form must contain a “clear and conspicuous” disclosure, presented in a standalone form, that states that a consumer report may be obtained for employment purposes. The complaint claims the defendant’s purported disclosures failed to meet these requirements in that they were not “clear and unambiguous disclosures in a stand-alone document” and contained extraneous information, including a liability release and information about various state laws.
“The [Fair Credit Reporting Act] disclosure should be a standalone document and, if desired, a bare authorization to obtain information, without being weighed down by any extraneous information, including multiple, irrelevant state law references, confusing and contradictory rights summaries, an acknowledgement of receipt of separate documents, and impermissible references to side documents containing information not set forth in the attempted disclosure,” the complaint argues.
Moreover, the lawsuit claims the defendant failed to inform the plaintiff and other prospective employees of their right to a complete and accurate disclosure of the nature and scope of the background investigation.
The full complaint can be read below.
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