Background Screening

Our clients trust our ability to provide legal counsel and defense on a spectrum of matters related to their operations, including compliance matters, employment and corporate matters as well as litigation defense and mitigation.

Overview

As background screening becomes increasingly prevalent for hiring and retaining employees and making credit, tenancy, insurance, and other related decisions, the associated legal requirements have become more complex than ever and pose increased risks of litigation and enforcement actions. Our experienced team works with companies in the background screening industry, and with employers, landlords, and others engaging the services of screening companies, to successfully navigate this legal and litigation environment.

When clients face individual, class action, and other forms of litigation under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), Federal Trade Commission (FTC) enforcement actions, or scrutiny by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), we are there to provide strong, practical representation at a local, state, and federal level. Over the years our team and representation of clients has grown as we’ve dedicated more time to the industry and developed this team at the firm. We strive to be experts in this industry and our knowledge of the industry, business operations, and the multiple entities involved in this space inform our legal counsel and litigation work.

When litigation occurs, we work with our clients to limit the scope of potential risk through early resolution initiatives. In fact, our proactive approach has resulted in our clients being dismissed from class action lawsuits prior to the need for any motion practice, or through motion practice before full discovery has been completed. And when an early resolution is not possible or desirable, we know how to aggressively and efficiently litigate cases though discovery, trial, and appeal. Our experience is nationwide and we regularly handle single-plaintiff and class action litigation on behalf of background screening industry companies, employers, landlords, and others.

Our attorneys have served as national legislative counsel to the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS), now the Professional Background Screening Association (PBSA). We actively participate within PBSA and its committees. We serve as counsel for the Consumer Data Industry Association (CDIA) and regularly speak and appear before the FTC, EEOC, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, and U.S. Chamber of Commerce on issues that impact the industry. Members of our team include partners who previously were attorneys at the FTC.

Additional Specialties

Experience

Compliance Counseling for Consumer Reporting Agencies, Information Companies, and End Users

 

  • Advise consumer reporting agencies and other entities such as software providers, data providers and furnishers on the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), as well as the Driver’s Privacy Protection Act (DPPA), Gramm Leach Bliley Act (GLBA), and state analogs to the FCRA, DPPA, and GLBA.
  • Advise employers regarding their background screening programs, including FCRA compliance as well as compliance with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s guidance on the use of criminal history records, fair chance hiring laws (aka Ban the Box laws), use of credit restrictions, and other state consumer reporting requirements.
  • Advise on and draft compliance-related documents, such as disclosure and authorization notices and adverse action notices.
  • Advise organizations on data breaches, security incidents, and breach notification requirements related to personal data.
  • Assist clients with drafting and revising service and vendor agreements as well as end-user agreements and technology-related licensing agreements.

International Compliance

 

  • Advise organizations on international privacy and data protection requirements related to processing of personal data, including cross-border transfers of personal data, including the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
  • Assist organizations with self-certification under the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield, Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield, and other cross-border transfer mechanisms related to personal data.

Litigation and Arbitration

 

  • AGG attorneys advise clients regarding pre-litigation demand letters and defend companies throughout the background screening industry, both large and small, in the following types of litigation and dispute resolution:
  • Individual-plaintiff and nationwide class actions against background screening companies alleging violations of the FCRA, including:Failure to maintain reasonable procedures to assure maximum possible accuracy (Section 607; 15 U.S.C. 1681e(b)).
  • Failure to provide contemporaneous notice or maintain strict procedures (Section 613; 15 U.S.C. § 1681k).
  • Reporting obsolete non-conviction records (Section 605; 15 U.S.C. § 1681c).
  • Failure to procure appropriate certifications from end users (Section 604(b)(1); 15 U.S.C. § 1681b(b)(1)).
  • Failure to provide requested files (Section 609; 15 U.S.C. § 1681g).
  • Failure to timely investigates disputes and correct records (Section 611; 15 U.S.C. § 1681i).
  • Individual-plaintiff and nationwide class actions against employers and other end users alleging violations of the FCRA, including: Failure to provide proper disclosures to the subjects of background reports (Section 604(b)(2); 15 U.S.C. § 1681b(b)(2)), Failure to procure proper authorization from the subjects of background reports (Section 604(b)(2); 15 U.S.C. § 1681b(b)(2)), and Failure to provide subjects of background reports with pre-adverse action letters, adverse action letters, and other required documentation (Section 604(b)(3); 15 U.S.C. § 1681b(b)(3)).
  • Indemnification demands and claims.
  • Breach of contract claims.

    Recognition

    Kevin Coy and Montserrat Miller are certified by the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) as Certified Information Privacy Professionals in both the designations for the United States and European Union (CIPP/US and CIPP/E).

     

    AGG is a recognized member in good standing with the Professional Background Screening Association (PBSA).

    News & Insights

    Compliance News Flash Newsletter

    AGG provides a quick overview of current news briefs relevant to background screening, immigration and data privacy, for the benefit and interest of our clients as well as employers and consumer reporting agencies generally.