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UBS Background Report Disclosure and FCRA Rules Class Action

Congress passed the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) because it saw “a need to insure that consumer reporting agencies exercise their grave responsibilities with fairness, impartiality, and a respect for the consumer’s right to privacy.” The complaint for this class action alleges that UBS Financial Services, Inc. violated the law when it obtained a background report on one or more prospective employees without providing her with a proper disclosure as required by the law.

The class for this action is all natural persons in the US who were the subject of a consumer report obtained by UBS with an FCRA disclosure form substantially similar to the form presented to the plaintiff in this case, between June 14, 2016 and the date of its final judgment.

Consumer reporting agencies are in possession of personal and confidential information on consumers which should not be freely disseminated to whoever might ask. The complaint says, “Recognizing the impact consumer reports can have on all aspects of life, including employment, Congress created stringent but simple requirements consumer reporting agencies must follow before releasing a consumer report report for employment purposes to ensure consumers are properly notified of their rights and the content of their consumer reports.”

If the rules are not followed, the complaint asserts, “consumers are deprived of the opportunity to decide who accesses their personal information, learn what is being reported about them, address any inaccuracies or even explain what is being reported.”

In this case, plaintiff Amber Schwartz applied for a position at UBS. As part of its hiring process, UBS obtains credit reports on certain prospective employees, and UBS intended to obtain one on Schwartz as well.

The complaint asserts, “Employer access to background checks is presumptively illegal and impermissible. To overcome this presumption, employers must disclose to applicants their intent to obtain such reports in a document that consists solely of the disclosure. Employers must then obtain consumers’ written authorization to obtain the report.”

At the heart of this case is the requirement that the disclosure be in a stand-alone document that is not cluttered with other information.

However, the complaint alleges that UBS’s disclosure was part of an eighteen-page job application package. It involves “two pages of eye-straining type, contains multiple statements about the categories of information that may be obtained, lists several potential sources of information, sets out a litany of notices for employment candidates in California, among many other categories of information that makes the document more than a stand-alone statement of UBS’s intent to obtain a consumer report about the applicant.”

The document also included what the complaint calls “an impermissible liability waiver” that released UBS and others from liability connected to the background check.

UBS obtained the report but eventually rejected Schwartz’s job application.

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Consumer, Copyright or Other Intellectual Property, Privacy

Most Recent Case Event

UBS Background Report Disclosure and FCRA Rules Complaint

June 14, 2021

Congress passed the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) because it saw “a need to insure that consumer reporting agencies exercise their grave responsibilities with fairness, impartiality, and a respect for the consumer’s right to privacy.” The complaint for this class action alleges that UBS Financial Services, Inc. violated the law when it obtained a background report on one or more prospective employees without providing her with a proper disclosure as required by the law.

UBS Background Report Disclosure and FCRA Rules Complaint

Case Event History

UBS Background Report Disclosure and FCRA Rules Complaint

June 14, 2021

Congress passed the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) because it saw “a need to insure that consumer reporting agencies exercise their grave responsibilities with fairness, impartiality, and a respect for the consumer’s right to privacy.” The complaint for this class action alleges that UBS Financial Services, Inc. violated the law when it obtained a background report on one or more prospective employees without providing her with a proper disclosure as required by the law.

UBS Background Report Disclosure and FCRA Rules Complaint
Tags: Background Reports, FCRA, Obtaining Reports Without Making Proper Disclosures