Background Screening

Arnall Golden Gregory’s Background Screening Practice offers a full range of legal services to all forms of screening companies, including those providing employment and tenant screening services, and to employers, landlords, and other companies who engage screening companies to provide these services. As background screening becomes more prevalent to reduce hiring and retention risk, the legal requirements of a compliant screening program are more complex than ever and pose increasing litigation and enforcement risk. From the explosion of class action and other forms of litigation under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”) to Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) enforcement actions to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s increasing scrutiny on criminal background checks to state and local FCRA counterpart statutes and other measures that prohibit or limit background screening, screening companies and their clients are targets for any failure to comply with this web of complex federal, state and local laws.

The core of AGG’s Background Screening Practice is providing day-to-day compliance advice – advice based upon our leadership role and committed experience in the industry – and aggressive and practical representation of our clients in individual and class action litigation, as well as regulatory investigations and enforcement actions.

Our lawyers have served as national legislative counsel to the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (“NAPBS”) and actively participate within NAPBS and its committees, served as counsel for and currently represent the Consumer Data Industry Association (“CDIA”), and regularly speak and appear before the Federal Trade Commission, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, and U.S. Chamber of Commerce on issues impacting the industry. Furthermore, two of our partners were formerly attorneys at the FTC. With this experience, we are able to provide in-depth and practical advice designed to keep companies out of the courtroom. Whether we are asked to conduct an audit of screening practices, provide legal counsel, provide recommendations for best practices, respond to government agency inquiries, or evaluate due diligence risk, AGG’s depth and comfort level in responding to the most complicated kinds of problems in the industry helps distinguish us from our peers.

Our Background Screening Practice also has substantial experience defending both screening companies and their employer and tenant clients in FCRA litigation, agency enforcement initiatives and state attorney general investigations throughout the country. Our litigation philosophy is simple – address the business problem as promptly and practically as possible under the circumstances. With the breadth of our knowledge, we are able to evaluate the real risk posed by a litigation matter and develop an action plan promptly after a client receives notice of a lawsuit. We then implement the plan so that our clients are proactively guiding the litigation instead of simply reacting to it. In a number of cases, that proactive approach has resulted in our clients being dismissed from class action lawsuits prior to the need for any motion practice, or at the motions stage and before expensive discovery has commenced. In other cases, we have developed proactive and aggressive plans to limit to scope of potential risk through early resolution initiatives. Our experience is nationwide and we regularly handle single-plaintiff and class-action litigation on behalf of background screening companies and employers.