U.S. District Judge Gary Feinerman denied Amazon, Inc.’s (Amazon) motion for summary judgment on October 7, 2015, in Illinois federal court, in a class action case over alleged violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), stating that while Amazon said it offered plaintiff compensation to drop his accusations, “there is no offer of judgment as that term is understood.” Under Amazon’s offer, plaintiff would receive statutory damages related to the alleged FCRA violations, but would not address the relief plaintiff sought for actual damages he incurred from loss of employment.
The plaintiff, Gregory Williams, alleges that Amazon offered him a temporary position at one of its warehouses, but the offer was rescinded after a background check listed a felony – belonging to ANOTHER Gregory Williams. Williams claims that had he known about this negative background check result before Amazon decided to rescind the offer, he would have disputed it. Amazon contends that Williams was permitted to reapply for a position and that Amazon itself was not responsible for the adverse action, but SMX LLC (Amazon’s third party staffing agency) is the one that completed the application process and the background check, as well as the one that ultimately took the adverse action. Amazon also contends that its offer of $1,000 would provide “full relief” to Williams and therefore any class action claims are moot. We’ll let you know how it turns out.