Amazon Accused of Unfair Hiring Practices

     (CN) – A class action filed in Florida accuses Amazon.com of wrongly using consumer credit reports to guide decisions on hiring, terminations, and even shift assignments.
     In a circuit court complaint filed in Tampa, Donovan Hargrett claims the nation’s largest online retailer checked his credit report without his permission, and didn’t give him a chance to refute information contained in the report, before it declined to hire him to work in Amazon’s Ruskin, Fla. warehouse.
     These actions, he claims, violated his rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, and reflect a systematic violation of the rights of all employees and job applicants.
     Hargrett says after talking to Amazon representatives at a July job fair, he filled out an application and submitted to a required pre-employment drug test. He says he learned his application had been rejected a month later, while visiting the company’s website, and that the reason was something turned up during what he’d expected would be a routine background check.
     “Plaintiff was given no pre-adverse notice whatsoever of the information contained in the consumer report upon which defendant based its decision,” the complaint says. “Defendant did not provide plaintiff with a copy of the consumer report that it relied upon prior to defendant’s adverse employment action. As a result, in violation of the FCRA, plaintiff was deprived of any opportunity to review the information in the report and discuss it with defendant before he was denied employment.”
     Hargrett also takes issue with Amazon’s background check disclosure form, which includes a release from liability. Adding that type of waiver in the disclosure form violates the Fair Credit Reporting Act, he claims.
     In April, another prospective Amazon employee in Washington state sued both the online retailer and its staffing company, Staff Management, in Federal Court. Like Hargrett, plaintiff Gregory Williams’ proposed class action alleged the companies failed to provide prospective employees with the results of background checks before making hiring decisions.
     Hargrett seeks unspecified compensatory, punitive and statutory damages.
     He is represented by Steven Wenzel of Wenzel Fenton Cabassa P.A. in Tampa.

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