Cleveland Based Consumer Reporting Agency Offers Innovation to Help Employers Avoid FCRA Lawsuits

Knowing that so many good companies are being sued using loopholes in the FCRA, Pre-Check had to devise a truly unique solution. – Robert Drusendahl

According to a Lexis® database search, lawyers and pro se plaintiffs filed 4,080 Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”) cases between August 2016 and August 2017. These can be extremely costly for employers to defend, in part because the FCRA permits statutory damages and attorneys’ fees, even when there has been no real injury to anyone. As these lawsuits proliferate, The Pre-Check Company, a Cleveland-based Human Resource consultancy, is testing an innovative solution to protect employers.

In basic terms, the FCRA creates liability for employers and third-party background search firms – known as Consumer Reporting Agencies – if a number of particular requirements are not met when employment background searches take place through a third-party search firm. However, if the employer were to perform its own background checks on applicants, the FCRA does not create liability. What Pre-Check has developed is a “best of both worlds” solution that provides employers with a toolkit for doing complete and accurate background check with the same quality that a third-party firm would provide, but using its own employees. This solution is known as “Pre-Verify” and will be available in early 2018.

Employers caught between the need to conduct proper vetting of prospective employees to avoid workplace violence and other serious on the one hand, and the prospect of “gotcha” FCRA litigation on the other, now have an option. The importance of taking proactive steps is highlighted by the continuing saga of the Spokeo litigation. Spokeo is a website with a “people search engine” that organizes various…

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