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Michaels and the Art of Background Checks

December 18, 2014 Legal Team

Arts and crafts retailer, Michaels, is crafting more than just cardboard ornaments this time of year. On December 4th, the company was sued by a class of job applicants who alleged the art supplier unlawfully ran background checks upon application.

Michaels allegedly failed to inform job applicants that the company ran background checks on prospective employees, which violated state and federal consumer protection laws. Christina Graham, the lead plaintiff from New Jersey, filed the case because the company did not disclose nor provide a copy of her background check—including criminal records and consumer reports. This was standard for employment at Michaels.

The only “notice” employees received was a disclosures statement written into the end of the applications with other information. It was “buried underneath various other pieces of extraneous information.”

Since it was not prominently displayed on the application, Graham alleges in her complaint that the company violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Previous to Graham’s lawsuit and even her application to Michaels, the company had been informed by a third party reporting agency that its disclosure could not be included on the application because that was not sufficient compliance with state and federal law.

Source: Top Class Actions