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Impact of Spokeo Court Decision on FCRA Class Action Lawsuits
As we shared with you earlier this year, in May, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a highly anticipated decision in the Spokeo v. Robins case. The court ruled that a technical, statutory violation is insufficient to confer Article III standing – that it requires a concrete injury, even in the context of a statutory violation.
The Spokeo case generated a lot of interest from many employers and background screening companies due to a steady increase in Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) related class action lawsuits over the last few years. Often, there are no actual damages to the plaintiffs despite allegations that employers are not following mandated background screening procedures.
As a result of the Spokeo decision, several FCRA class action lawsuits were dismissed earlier this summer (see our Summer Newsletter and blog for details), and courts continue to dismiss FCRA class actions because the plaintiffs are unable to indicate injuries sufficient to confer Article III standing. This fall alone, the courts dismissed an FCRA class action lawsuit against Lyft, as well as a case against Bank of America.

The Spokeo decision certainly has not resulted in dismissal of all FCRA background class action lawsuits. It is important to note that in dismissed cases that cited the Spokeo ruling, the courts found the plaintiffs were not able to clearly state how an alleged “intangible” injury resulted in a “concrete” injury. Those able to do so have continued to proceed. But these cases do show that the courts are willing to look at the claims, and reject them when there is no indication of concrete harm to the plaintiff.

EEOC Public Meeting

On October 13, 2016, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) held a public meeting, “Big Data in the Workplace: Examining Implications for Equal Employment Opportunity Law.”  The meeting featured a panel of experts who discussed how “Big Data” (the use of algorithms, internet data scraping, and other means of evaluating multiple pieces of information about a person) is used in making hiring and other employment decisions.

The panel of experts spoke on a range of issues, including:

  • Trends and technologies in “Big Data”

  • Benefits and risks of “Big Data” analytics

  • Current and potential uses

  • How it may pertain to equal employment opportunity laws

Big data is being in hiring and management by some companies, and is likely to significantly change hiring practices in the future. It is important to stay on top of "Big Data" issues, in order to understand how it may affect each of us as trends and technologies are adopted. 

FCRA Updates
Dish Network Pays $1.75 Million to Settle Background Class Action

In September, Top Class Actions reported that Dish Network agreed to a $1.75 million settlement with a group of contractor technicians who alleged that the company violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) by not providing them with proper background check consent and disclosure forms. Under the terms of the settlement, the “adverse action class” of about 9,000 contractor technicians will receive approximately $480 each. And nearly 38,000 technicians who did not authorize or receive notice from Dish Network about the use of background checks will each receive about $80 under the settlement.


Mixed Verdict against CRA under FCRA

Also in September, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals reviewed Smith v. LexisNexis Screen Solutions, Inc. The court upheld a $75,000 verdict in favor of the plaintiff, whose employment background check contained erroneous information that resulted in a job denial. But the court found no evidence of wilfullness on the part of the CRA, and therefore reversed the $300,000 punitive damages award.

Voters Choose Marijuana: How Legalization Impacts Employers

This fall, the issue of legalizing marijuana in one form or another was considered by many voters. Nine states had marijuana issues on their ballots on Election Day, November 8, 2016. Four voted on medical marijuana issues, while another five voted on whether recreational usage should be legal. After results were tallied, four states approved recreational marijuana- California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada; and four approved medical usage – Arkansas, Florida, Montana and North Dakota. Arizona voters alone did not approve a measure, specifically the recreational usage of marijuana.

The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) reports that after the election, a total of 28 states, the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico now allow for some form of legal marijuana usage. Eight states and the District of Columbia have legalized it for recreational use after the past election.


As we stated in a recent article about legalizing marijuana, it appears that people in the United States are increasingly accepting of marijuana use. An August 2016 Gallop poll reporting on marijuana use found that that 13 percent of U.S. adults say they currently use marijuana (up from 7% in 2013) and 43% of U.S. adults say they have tried it.


The results of the most recent election back the observation that marijuana legalization appears to be the trend. And employers need to remain aware of developments regarding legalization, including being familiar with the laws in the state in which they do business. There are no one-size fits all solutions for employers, so it’s important to take into account the following considerations, implementing those that best fit your organizations.


Know the Laws in Your State

As we stated in our earlier article, it’s important that employers are familiar with the laws in the states in which they do business, as well as any new legislation that may affect your substance abuse policy. If you are doing business in a state that requires accommodation, this should be taken into consideration.


Create a Policy

Have a policy in place, preferably before you even have any issues with an employee and marijuana use. As you create your guidelines, work with your HR staff, law professionals and other experts.


Educate Employees

It’s important to make your employees aware of your organization’s substance abuse policy. Communicate with them and expect questions. If applicants are required to undergo testing as part of the screening process, keep them informed. And make sure your testing practices are non-discriminatory.


As you create and review your policies, evaluate various strategies. This will help you determine which ones work for your organization, and lets you make the most informed decisions in handling the issue of legalized marijuana.

CareerBuilder Survey Indicates Most Employers Do Background Checks

A recent employer survey performed by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder found that most employers (72%) conduct some form of background screening.


Results of the survey include the following statistics:

  • 72% of employers who were polled do background checks on every new employee before they're hired. That means that more than a quarter (28%) do not.

  • 75% of employers surveyed reported that they have hired the wrong person for a position in the past, and on average, one bad hire costs them nearly $17,000. The amount varies by company size, with averages increasing for larger companies:

    • Organizations with 500 or less employees: $11,000 average bad hire cost
    • Organizations with more than 500 employees: $22,000 average bad hire cost
    • Organizations with more than 1,000 employees: $24,000 average bad hire cost
  • 55% drug test employees, but only 20% continue to do so after an employee has been hired.


The survey was conducted online, from August 11-September 7, 2016, and sampled 2,379 hiring and human resource managers ages 18 and over (employed full-time, not self-employed, non-government).

Corporate Screening Recognized at 2016 Customer Service Awards

On November 3, 2016 Corporate Screening was recognized as an honoree at The 2016 Customer Service Awards. Presented by Smart Business, The Customer Service Awards honor companies that have demonstrated superior customer service and serves to raise awareness of the importance of customer service in the business world, sharing best practices from those who do it best.


Greg Dubecky, President of Corporate Screening, remarked, “We are honored to have been selected as a top customer service provider by Smart Business. Corporate Screening is a trusted background screening partner for many top employers in Northeast Ohio, as well as throughout the nation. It is imperative that we strive to provide each with exceptional customer service. This award recognizes the commitment our employees have placed on delivering outstanding service for our clients.”


Client Satisfaction Survey Results

We asked you to share your thoughts about how we are doing, and you responded. Corporate Screening would like to thank everyone who took the survey and shared their opinions. We’ve tallied up the results and reviewed your feedback about what we can do to improve.


Next up, we will use your feedback to continue to enhance your experience working with us. From general improvement suggestions, to those you have about EASE and our VerifyStudents products and services, we will continue to incorporate the information we learned from your feedback. You can look forward to seeing some significant enhancements coming in 2017!


In the meantime, here are some highlights of the survey:

  • You gave Corporate Screening a 95% overall satisfaction rate.

  • Additionally, 95% of you were pleased with the overall quality of the reports you have received.

  • Our Client Support Team and representatives scored well.

    • 97% of those taking the survey had positive experiences working with Corporate Screening’s Client Support Team.

    • And 99% of you agree that Corporate Screening representatives are professional, knowledgeable and responsive to your questions or issues.


And finally, congratulations to Cindy Harrison, who won the Fitbit drawing for taking the survey!


Once again, we appreciate the time you took taking the survey. We hope you will take the time to share your opinion with us in future surveys, in order to provide us with important feedback that will help us keep on improving.


Corporate Screening 2016 Holiday Schedule

As the end of the year approaches, Corporate Screening would like to extend warm holiday wishes to all. For your convenience, here is our holiday schedule through the New Year.



November 24-25, 2016: Corporate Screening will be closed on Thursday and Friday, November 24 and 25 for the Thanksgiving holiday. We will resume normal business hours on Monday, November 28.



December 15, 2016: Corporate Screening will hold its annual holiday party on Thursday, December 15. The office will be closed at 12:30 p.m. for the remainder of the day. Normal business hours will resume on Friday, December 16.


December 26, 2016: On Monday, December 26, Corporate Screening will be closed to observe Christmas Day. Regular office hours will resume on Tuesday, December 27.



January 2, 2017: On Monday, January 2, Corporate Screening will be closed to observe New Year’s Day. Regular office hours will resume on Tuesday, January 3.

Introducing CSBusinessScreen:

How Much Do You Really Know About Your Company’s Business Relationships?

When you are considering a new business relationship with a vendor, client or supplier, isn’t it important to know about the people and organizations with whom you will be working? You should ensure that not only the company is reputable and reliable, but also that the people who run it are trustworthy.


That’s where CSBusinessScreen steps in. As a customizable business relationship background check system, it allows you to easily order and manage background checks on potential business partners, acquisition targets and vendors, or manage your KYC compliance program – all from online.


When you order your customizable background check from CSBusinessScreen, we will verify the credentials of your potential business partner, client, supplier or vendor using its secure, advanced technology. You can easily order your background checks, manage and review the status of cases, communicate with our investigators, as well as review and download reports online.


Who You Work with Does Matter

Most companies fail to run necessary background checks on vendors, clients, business acquisitions, suppliers and contractors who have access to your sensitive data, proprietary processes and valuable company assets. Implementing a background screening program before you enter into these type of business relationships can help reduce risk and protect your brand. They can also assist your company to comply with government AML/KYC requirements.


Partnering with a new company is a big decision that can have economic consequences and liability. If you are considering a business relationship and you need to know about the people (officers, owners and partners) and organizations you are working with, then let us help you create a screening program that meets your company’s specific needs.


CSBusinessScreen offers services that include:

  • Verifying the credentials of prospective business partners (including corporate officers, board members and management teams)
  • Screening potential vendors, clients, suppliers or service providers
  • Assisting in the due diligence process for mergers & acquisitions
  • Know Your Customer (KYC) Screening
  • Customer Due Diligence (CDD) Screening
  • Enhanced Due Diligence (EDD) Screening



CSBusinessScreen can also assist companies with their compliance needs. Today’s demanding corporate environment often requires complex decisions regarding business relationships. Laws like the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and the USA Patriot Act reinforce the need for compliance programs that require conducting Know Your Customer (KYC) due diligence. CSBusinessScreen provides a streamlined approach to help your company gather, report and manage business relationship background check data.


A number of industries can benefit from business background screening, including:

  • Banking

  • Insurance Companies

  • Investment Firms

  • Brokers and Dealers of Securities

  • Real Estate Settlements and Closings

  • Currency Exchanges and Money Transmitters

  • Travel Agencies

  • Dealers in Precious Metals or Gems

  • Loan and Finance Companies

  • Gaming Establishments


For more information about CSBusinessScreen, visit our website at You can also request information or a demo by contacting an account representative by phone at 800-229-8606, or by email at


VerifyStudents Corner
Drug Screen 101: Info and Best Practices

Drug testing is becoming an important part of the student background check process to avoid potential liabilities. At many clinical sites, prior to beginning clinical rotations, students are required to undergo drug screening in addition to their background checks.


Drug screening in such settings is vital. The safety of others is a leading reason, as a person who abuses drugs or alcohol may put patients at risk, as well as employees.


Those working in healthcare environments also have access to a multitude of prescription drugs, and there is an increased risk of on-site drug theft and abuse. Additionally, hospitals and clinics may face legal issues, such as negligence or malpractice claims.


The following best practices can help you with your student drug screening program.


Set Testing “Expiration Dates”

As a best practice to further the integrity of the testing process, schools should be given the opportunity to set “expiration dates” that require the drug tests to be performed within a specified period of time from the date the student registers for the test.


Ensure Results are Reviewed by An MRO

A Medical Review Officer (MRO) is a licensed medical doctor who reviews lab results. The MRO ensures the correct test panel was performed, and that the collector followed proper procedures. He or she also reviews all confirmed “positive” drug test results from the laboratory, and contacts those individuals in order to find out about possible prescription or over the counter medications that may have produced those results.


Using an MRO is important because it protects your school and program from having to deal with the complicated issues related to release of disclosure of private medical information.


Partner with a Screening Provider

Developing or updating a drug testing policy is easier with the assistance of a trusted screening partner. The can help you design a program that works in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations, as well as work with your clinical sites to determine what testing requirements need to be in place.


Paperless Drug Screening by VerifyStudents

VerifyStudents offers a paperless drug screening option that is completely electronic and eliminates the need for distributing a traditional paper chain of custody document. The wide network of collection sites are regularly updated in real-time, which means that when students schedule their drug screen test, the sites they can select from are in-network and open. And once complete, the results of the drug screen tests are integrated with the background screening report, and available online.


For more information about paperless drug screening, please contact an account representative at 800-229-8606 or email us at