Los Angeles, CA: Uber Technologies is facing a proposed class action filed by a Boston cabdriver who alleges the mobile app-based car service routinely violates the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) by using background checks without applicants knowledge or authorization to make hiring decisions.
Filed on behalf of lead plaintiff Abdul Mohamed, the class action claims that by failing to obtain his authorization for a background check and not disclosing that the company would check his background when he applied for a job as an "Uber X" driver, Uber, its wholly-owned subsidiary Rasier LLC and their employment screening agency Hirease LLC knowingly violated fair credit reporting laws in Massachusetts and California in addition to the FCRA.
The lawsuit also claims that Uber violates the FCRA and state credit reporting laws by using background checks in hiring decisions without providing applicants with copies of their reports.
"In direct violation of the FCRA [and state laws], whenever adverse action is taken against an applicant on the basis of information disclosed on a consumer report, the defendants fail to afford the applicants the procedural safeguards mandated by law... including by failing to provide pre-adverse action notices and a reasonable opportunity to dispute information in such reports before taking adverse action,"the complaint states.
According to the lawsuit, Mohamed applied to be an Uber X driver in September, after having previously worked for Uber as an "Uber Black"driver using his own car. Uber told him he must purchase a new car for the position, which he did at a cost of $25,000. Mohamed then began working as an Uber X driver in early October. However, on October 28, Mohamed received an email from Hirease stating that his contract with Rasier was terminated because of information obtained through a consumer reporting agency, the complaint states.
"[Uber and Rasier] terminated Plaintiff because Hirease' consumer report concerning Plaintiff indicated he had a minor criminal record that, in fact, stems from his seven children receiving much-needed Medicaid benefits,"the lawsuit alleges. "[Uber] termination of Plaintiff deprived him of his livelihood and left him without an alternative means of providing for his family, including his seven children." Mohamed alleges that despite an email stating he had received a copy of his consumer reports and rights under the FRCA, he did not receive the described materials.
Further, the lawsuit states that Mohamed did not have an opportunity to review the information on his consumer report and discuss it with Uber and Rasier.
As part of its employment screening services, Hirease provides a package that automatically generates pre-adverse action and adverse action notices to an applicant, along with a copy of the consumer report, whenever Hirease makes an adverse hiring decision based on pre-determined criteria.
"Consumer reporting agencies routinely provide a similar service and many employers purchase it,"the lawsuit states. "Uber and Rasier could have easily and cost-effectively complied with the mandates of the FCRA, CCRAA, and MCRA by purchasing such services, but failed to do so."
The case is Mohamed v. Uber Technologies Inc et al., case number 3:14-cv-05200, in the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California.