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Swift Faces Suit Over Background Checks


4Q profit Swift TransportationSwift Transportation is facing a class-action lawsuit for allegedly violating the Fair Credit Reporting Act by conducting background checks on prospective employees without their consent or knowledge.

Ellis, III v. Swift Transportation Co, LLC was filed in Virginia on July 23, 2013.  The suit claims that over a 5-year period, as many as 10,000 prospective employees were subjected to background checks without the applicants’ knowledge.

According to the complaint, in 2012 James Ellis III applied online for a driving job at Swift.  Swift ran a background check on Ellis and as a result of the background check, Ellis was not offered a position with the company.

The FCRA states that if a company runs a background check on a prospective employee, they must obtain the applicant’s permission to do so, and they must notify the applicant that he or she has 60 days to obtain a free copy of the report, so that he or she can dispute the reports accuracy.

In addition, “Swift at no time notified the plaintiff that it had taken adverse action against him based in whole or in part on the report as it was required to do under the FCRA within three days of the adverse action. The company, in addition, neglected to provide other required notice, including that plaintiff could obtain a free copy and dispute the accuracy or completeness of the criminal background report with the consumer reporting agency,” Employment Law Daily reported.

In 2011, a similar lawsuit was filed in Arizona by three applicants.  That case was dismissed.



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