Apr 02 2019

Womble Bond Dickinson attorneys Ashley Kutz Kelley, Nadia Adams and Shane Micheil recently presented a webinar on the Fair Credit Reporting Act, and the risks it creates for employers in the employment context.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is not new, but plaintiff lawyers are spinning its requirements to create new liabilities for businesses that utilize third-party vendors to conduct background checks on applicants or employees. Plaintiff attorneys are bringing (and winning) more and more of these lawsuits and class actions against businesses alleging violations of under the law’s hyper-technical requirements relating to employee background checks.

In this 60-minute webinar, the Womble Bond Dickinson team addressed the compliance requirements under the FCRA and ways to avoid missteps in compliance, including:

  • Required disclosures and authorization before employers request and obtain a report;
  • Employer’s certifications to the credit reporting agencies;
  • Employer’s obligations to notify applicants or employees before taking any adverse action based on a report; and
  • Employer’s obligations when making a decision to take an adverse action based on the report.

As an employment litigator, Ashley focused on employment issues and applicable laws, the scope of how a background check can be used by employers, and outlined steps employers should take to comply with FCRA. Nadia focused on highlights from recent FCRA cases, and Shane provided an overview of pertinent state statutes. Sterling Laney coordinated the program, showcasing lawyers from Womble Bond Dickinson’s South Carolina and California offices.

More than 375 attendees took part in the FCRA webinar, which was held Feb. 21.

Ashley Kutz Kelley represents companies in the manufacturing, shipping, healthcare, financial services, professional services and property management sectors. She is an experienced litigator with a broad-ranging practice in federal and state courts, including employment, business, commercial, financial, and product liability matters. Ashley serves as Chair of Charleston Women in International Trade (CWIT) as well as Chair of the South Carolina Bar’s Employment and Labor Law Section.

Sterling Laney counsels financial services clients through heavily regulated financial services and consumer finance sectors. He represents public and private companies and financial institutions on class actions and dispute resolution alternatives such as loan modifications, forbearance agreements, and other loan workouts. Sterling also counsels financial industry clients regarding regulatory compliance, consumer credit issues, complex business litigation, and general corporate matters.

Nadia Adams focuses her practice on the defense of national mortgage servicers, lenders, and other financial institutions in consumer and contract-based suits. She has in-depth experience with consumer protection statutes, such as the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”), California Consumer Credit Reporting Agencies Act (“CCRAA”), Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”), Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”), California Homeowner Bill of Rights (“HOBR”) and California Unfair Competition Law (“UCL”).

Shane Micheil focuses his practice on commercial and financial services litigation. He is part of a nationally-recognized team with broad experience defending financial institutions in cases involving the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. He also has significant experience in Fair Credit Reporting Act cases.