Equinox FCRA and Criminal Background Discrimination Violations Class Action

Plaintiff Hassan Barrow was convicted of a crime he did not commit, according to the complaint for this class action, and he would like the protections of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and the New York criminal record laws, in this case in his refusal of employment by Equinox Holdings, Inc.

The class for this action is all individuals in the state of New York to whom Equinox did not give a summary of their rights under the FCRA after taking adverse action in employment against them based on their consumer credit reports, between November 13, 2011 and November 13, 2017. 

On May 23, 2009, Barrow was arrested along with two companions who had decided to rob a stranger at gunpoint. Barrow claims he did not participate in the crime, but he was arrested, pleaded guilty, and served three and a half years in prison. During his imprisonment, he worked as a porter and completed vocational and substance abuse programs.

The complaint claims that since his release, he has attended a community college, held jobs, and passed drug tests. In April of 2017, Barrow applied for a job as a personal trainer at Equinox Holdings. He had an interview in September, was invited for a second interview. Later, an interviewer he knew as “Deckland” told him that everyone loved his “personality, energy, and knowledge” and that he was hired.

Barrow claims that he then told Deckland of his criminal record, but that Deckland told him it would not be a problem. The complaint quotes Deckland as saying, “As long as you didn’t murder anyone, you’re fine.” Barrow went through an onboarding process, during which he authorized a background check. After that, he says, he did not hear from Equinox again.

After Barrow had made a number of phone calls to Equinox without getting a response, Deckland called him, apologized, and withdrew the job offer, saying that the results of his background check had prevented his hiring.

However, the FCRA requires that, before taking adverse action on the basis of a background report, a prospective employer must notify the person in writing of his rights under the FCRA. Equinox did not give Barrow a written description of his rights under the FCRA.

The New York criminal record law forbids an employer from refusing an applicant employment because of a criminal offense unless (a) there is a direct relationship between the offense and the employment, or (2) employment of the person would involve an unreasonable risk to property, safety, or the welfare of other persons. The complaint lists eight things that the prospective employer may take into consideration, including evidence of rehabilitation and good conduct. The complaint alleges that all eight considerations are in Barrow’s favor and that Equinox’s refusal to hire him violates the criminal record discrimination laws. 

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Employment

Most Recent Case Event

Equinox FCRA and Criminal Background Discrimination Violations Complaint

November 13, 2017

Plaintiff Hassan Barrow was convicted of a crime he did not commit, according to the complaint for this class action, and he would like the protections of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and the New York criminal record laws, in this case in his refusal of employment by Equinox Holdings, Inc. The complaint alleges that Equinox violated the law in two ways. First, he was not given a written description of his rights under the FCRA before Equinox refused to hire him on the basis of his background check. Second, the complaint alleges that the refusal of employment violates the New York criminal background discrimination laws.

equinox_holding_fcra_complaint.pdf

Case Event History

Equinox FCRA and Criminal Background Discrimination Violations Complaint

November 13, 2017

Plaintiff Hassan Barrow was convicted of a crime he did not commit, according to the complaint for this class action, and he would like the protections of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and the New York criminal record laws, in this case in his refusal of employment by Equinox Holdings, Inc. The complaint alleges that Equinox violated the law in two ways. First, he was not given a written description of his rights under the FCRA before Equinox refused to hire him on the basis of his background check. Second, the complaint alleges that the refusal of employment violates the New York criminal background discrimination laws.

equinox_holding_fcra_complaint.pdf
Tags: Employment Discrimination, FCRA, Failure to provide subject with summary of rights under FCRA