In 2012, Canon date entry worker, Anya McPherson, was terminated from the company after information from a background check reached the company. She had been on the jobs for 4 days when the company cited a felony from over a decade prior as the reason for her termination.
Shortly after her termination, McPherson and her attorneys filed a class action lawsuit in New Jersey against the technology mogul for conducting illegal background checks on current and prospective employees. McPherson, specifically, had no opportunity to explain that her 12 year old felony charge was up for expungement. Additionally, she was not given a copy of the background check, which may violate the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
Without admitting liability, Canon offered McPherson an unreported settlement 2 years later. Especially now with “ban the box” legislation well under way in many states, background checks are a hot topic.
As a prospective or current employee, make sure the employer is no longer using the “box”—i.e. the check box on employment applications (“Have you ever been convicted of a crime?). Also, the company and/or employer must get an executed legal release form and inform an applicant of their rights, including obtaining a copy of the report and any communication from the check that resulted in an adverse action against the applicant.
Sources: TopClassActions.com; Forbes.com