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Waffle House class action lawsuits

Former Waffle House job applicants have combined forces to allege the company violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act with its use of background checks.

The new complaint consolidates claims brought by 23 plaintiffs in two Waffle House class action lawsuits filed earlier this year.

Plaintiffs accuse defendant Waffle House of using background checks to make employment decisions without giving job applicants the required notice and opportunity to explain or correct the information in those background checks.

According to the Waffle House class action lawsuit, background checks used to make employment-related decisions are “consumer reports” within the meaning of that term as defined in the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act. As such, their use triggers several FCRA requirements that benefit the persons who are subjects of those reports, the plaintiffs argue.

Employers are expected to provide an applicant with a “pre-adverse action notice” before taking any adverse employment action based on the information in the background check. The notice is supposed to include a copy of the background report and a summary of the applicant’s FCRA rights.

Plaintiffs say Waffle House failed to provide both the copy of the report and the summary of rights before taking adverse action against them.

The first Waffle House background check lawsuit was filed in April of this year. Plaintiffs there described Public Data, the firm that allegedly supplies Waffle House with background reports, as “shady, off-shore consumer reporting agency” providing cheap background check services without even cursory efforts at complying with the FCRA. Public Data is a named defendant in addition to Waffle House.

Plaintiff William Jones followed up with the second Waffle House class action lawsuit, filed in the same court. Jones alleged that despite 20 years of previous Waffle House employment, he was denied a new job because of background check results he never had a chance to explain or correct.

The new complaint proposes three plaintiff Classes. The Improper Disclosure and Authorization Class would represent all U.S. persons who applied for jobs with Waffle House and for whom Waffle House procured background reports, within the applicable statutory limitations period.

Members of the Adverse Action Class would include U.S. Waffle House job applicants against whom Waffle House took adverse action based on the contents of their background reports.

The Public Data Class would cover all U.S. persons whose relevant information has been compiled by Public Data and were the subject of a Public Data report that was furnished for an employment-related purpose and sold to a third party.

The plaintiffs are seeking a court declaration that the defendants are in violation of the FCRA and an injunction barring them from continuing the disputed practices. Plaintiffs also seek an award of damages, court costs and attorney fees, all with pre- and post-judgment interest.

The plaintiffs are represented by attorneys Michael Pascucci and Joshua Eggnatz of Eggnatz Lopatin & Pascucci LLP, and by Anthony J. Orshansky, Alexandria Kachadoorian and Justin Kachadoorian of CounselOne PC.

The consolidated Waffle House Unlawful Background Check Class Action Lawsuit is Jones, et al. v. Waffle House Inc., et al., Case No. 6:15-cv-01637-RBD-GJK, in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida.

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