Joseph Alvarez filed a class action against Dave & Buster’s restaurant chain earlier this year in Florida alleging that it used background checks for employment decisions without providing a copy of the report to the applicants in violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Alvarez applied for a job as a line cook at Dave & Buster’s Orlando, Florida location, and after the restaurant received a background check with negative implications about Alvarez, they withdrew the offer for the position. However, Dave & Buster’s never provided a copy of the consumer report used in this decision making process. Alvarez’s complaint said that Dave & Buster’s “willfully violated [the FRCA] requirements in systematic violation of plaintiff’s rights and the rights of other punitive class members.” Alvarez’s complaint further alleges that the restaurant chain frequently uses background checks for decisions in termination, reduction of hours, position changes, hiring and promotions. “This practice violates one of the most fundamental protections afforded to employees under the FCRA, and also runs counter to longstanding regulatory guidance,” the complaint said.
The FCRA requires all companies to notify individuals when a background check is conducted and also if the results indicated are going to have a negative effect on their employment. Companies are also required to provide a copy of the report to the applicant so that the individual has the opportunity to correct any errors.
Alvarez’s class action includes all employees and job applicants that have had their employment affected negatively over the last five years and that were not provided the required FCRA disclosures, and seeks statutory damages (which could be up to $1,000 per violation) plus punitive damages.