Starbucks' Background Checks Violate FCRA, Suit Says
Starbucks Corp. was hit with a proposed class action in Georgia federal court Thursday claiming the coffee chain has rejected job applicants based on their consumer reports, without first providing them with a copy of the reports and notifying them of their rights, in violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
Lead plaintiff Kevin Wills alleges Starbucks routinely collects job applicants’ consumer reports to perform background checks on them and then uses that information to take adverse action against applicants, like not hiring them.
“This practice violates one of the most fundamental protections afforded to job applicants under the FCRA and runs counter to longstanding regulatory guidance,” the suit says.
In September 2015, Wills was preliminarily offered a position at a Starbucks store in Buford, Georgia, pending the approval of a criminal background check. But the store’s manager rescinded the offer after reviewing a consumer report provided by Accurate Background Inc. that indicated a man with a similar name, Kevin W. Willis of Minnesota, had been convicted twice of domestic violence.
“Plaintiff has never used the name Kevin Willis and does not spell his name like Kevin Willis, nor has he ever resided in Minnesota,” the suit says. “The information was erroneously mixed into his information by Starbucks background reporting company.”