Delta Air Lines has agreed to pay $2.3 million to settle a class-action lawsuit alleging it failed to provide approximately 44,000 applicants with a stand-alone background check disclosure, in violation of the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and California law.

Delta's disclosure forms contained extraneous information, according to plaintiffs, including unnecessary information about state laws. 

Delta's forms also contained misleading information, according to plaintiffs, and could not be understood without reading the FCRA itself; specifically, referring to the term "consumer report" as "defined in" the FCRA without providing an explanation of what a "consumer report" is. 

The plaintiffs have filed a motion seeking approval of the $2.3 million settlement. 

As we previously blogged about here, the FCRA requires a "clear and conspicuous disclosure ... in a document that consists solely of the disclosure."  Delta's settlement is the latest on a long list of big employer-paid settlements for hyper-technical violations under the FCRA and state laws.  Amazon just paid $5 million last year, which we blogged about here

The FCRA is complicated, and some of the guidance provided by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Federal Trade Commission, including that the disclosure form be "in writing and in a stand-alone format," has only created only more questions for employers.  These questions, including the meaning of the "stand-alone format," are being tackled courtroom-by-courtroom in a patchwork of legal decisions across the U.S.     

With the start of the new year, now is the time to take a closer look at all of your employment-related forms, including your background check disclosures, to ensure compliance.

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