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News and Announcements

Plaintiffs Attorney Says SEPTA Hiring Decision Affects Civil and Privacy Rights, Goes Against State Edicts

The use of background checks in making hiring decisions is facing increased scrutiny, according to the lead plaintiffs’ attorney in Long v. the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA). The plaintiffs in the Long case alleged that they were conditionally offered positions as SEPTA bus operators, subject to completion of a background check. As part of that process, the plaintiffs disclosed previous felony convictions for drug offenses. As a result, the plaintiffs claim, SEPTA withdrew the job offers. In the class action lawsuit filed in April in the U.S. District Court for...
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Outten & Golden LLP: NAACP Beats Back Employers’ Attempt to Escape Litigation in Discrimination Class Action

Jul 25, 2016 / Press Release /
A New York state court ruled that information management giants NTT Data, Inc. and Philips Electronics North America Corp. will remain in a class action lawsuit alleging that major job search websites enable employers to illegally post job listings in New York City with blanket bans on applicants with felony convictions, Outten & Golden LLP and co-counsel said today. Filed in June 2015, the class action brought by 14 New York metropolitan area branches of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Inc. (NAACP) targets employers that post allegedly illegal job listings...
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Fair Credit Reporting Act lawsuit against SEPTA one of rising number, attorney says

The recent federal class action lawsuit filed against Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority alleging violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act and other laws is one of many making those claims, an attorney knowledgeable of the FCRA said during a recent interview. "More and more class actions are popping up every day in this arena," Kathryn M. Rattigan, an associate with Robinson & Cole in Providence, R.I., said during a Pennsylvania Record email interview. "Private businesses and government alike should be aware of the FCRA’s requirements and stay up to speed on their...
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U.S. to Curb Queries on Criminal Histories of Government Job Seekers

WASHINGTON — The White House on Friday will move to bar federal agencies from asking applicants for tens of thousands of government jobs about their criminal histories until the very end of the process. While checks of criminal histories have become routine in the public and private sectors, a regulation being proposed by the Obama administration would remove a barrier that discourages many freed prisoners from applying for jobs. The rule would prevent supervisors interviewing applicants for about half of all federal positions from asking about a job seeker’s criminal or credit history until...
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SEPTA Background Checks Violate Federal and State Laws, According to Outten & Golden LLP and Co-Counsel

Apr 27, 2016 / Press Release /
PHILADELPHIA and NEW YORK — A new federal lawsuit alleges Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) willfully violates federal and state laws when conducting criminal background checks of prospective employees, says Outten & Golden LLP and a coalition of legal advocates. Filed in federal court in Philadelphia, the class action accuses SEPTA, the nation’s sixth-largest public transportation system, of routinely rejecting job applicants based on information contained in reports obtained from background check companies. The lawsuit alleges SEPTA fails to comply with the...
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Rejected bus driver sues SEPTA over background checks

Apr 27, 2016 / Media Coverage /
A school bus driver turned away from a job as a SEPTA bus operator because of drug conviction dating back nearly 20 years filed a federal lawsuit against the transit agency Wednesday. The suit said that SEPTA routinely misuses criminal history information turned up in background checks to eliminate potential employees, even when the offenses happened long ago and are irrelevant to the job. SEPTA said it was looking into the lawsuit and had no immediate comment. The suit said SEPTA's background check and criminal histories violate federal employment laws. The suit comes as state, federal and...
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Outten & Golden LLP: Court Keeps Job Search Websites in Discrimination Class Action

Apr 12, 2016 / Press Release /
A New York state court ruled that the parent companies of three major job search websites will stay as defendants in a class action lawsuit alleging that employers use them to illegally post job listings in New York City with blanket bans on applicants with felony convictions, Outten & Golden LLP and co-counsel said today. Filed in June 2015, the class action brought by 14 New York metropolitan area branches of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Inc. (NAACP) targets employers that post alleged-ly illegal job listings and their “enablers,” such as defendant...
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Do Not Apply: NAACP Sues Companies For Illegal Discrimination Against Ex-Offenders

Mar 18, 2016 / Media Coverage /
The NAACP New York State Conference Metropolitan Council of Branches has filed a class action against employers who use leading job search sites Monster, Indeed, and ZipRecruiter to illegally post hundreds of job listings in New York with blanket bans on applicants with felony convictions. New York City law prohibits blanket rejections of applicants based on criminal history. The employers named in this Complaint exemplify the wide-range of companies engaged in this illegal practice and include large employers in the technology and information management industry like Philips, NTT Data and...
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Former Geo Group Employee Joins Suit Alleging Violations of Federal Background Check Law Adding New Claims Against the Nation's Second Largest For-Profit Prison Operator, According to Plaintiffs’ Legal Team

Dec 18, 2015 / Press Release /
A new Plaintiff and new claims have been added in the lawsuit against the Geo Group, Inc. (“Geo Group”), and Accurate Background, Inc. where Defendants are accused violating the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”) during criminal and credit background checks, the law firm Outten & Golden LLP announced today. Filed in New York federal court, the nationwide class action lawsuit is brought on behalf of Plaintiffs Eric Keels and Sandra Inman. The suit originally alleged that Geo Group and Accurate Background, Inc. failed to comply with the FCRA’s notice requirements before taking adverse...
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Prison Operator GEO Accused of Fair Credit Act Breaches

Nov 3, 2015 / Media Coverage /
[Reproduced with permission from Daily Labor Report, 212 DLR A-1 (Nov. 3, 2015). Copyright 2015 by The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. (800-372-1033) .] A private company that operates prisons, and a consumer background reporting firm are violating federal and state fair credit laws by not providing job applicants with timely notice of reports including criminal histories that are used to deny them employment, according to a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York ( Keels v. GEO Grp. Inc. , E.D.N.Y., No. 15-6261, 10/30/15). The proposed class action...
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