​Starbucks Faces a Class Action Lawsuit for Alleged FCRA Violations​

May 28, 2019
A Colorado resident filed a Class Action Lawsuit against Starbucks. He alleges the company wrongfully denied him employment and violated his FCRA rights.
Backgrounds Online | May 28, 2019


A Colorado resident filed a Class Action Lawsuit against Starbucks. He alleges the company wrongfully denied him employment and violated his FCRA rights.

Basis of the Lawsuit

Jonathan Rosario applied for a job at a Starbucks in Colorado. He was not hired. Rosario says he was denied employment after the coffee company reviewed incorrect information on his background check.

According to Rosario, some of the records that appeared on his report do not belong to him. He also states that he was not notified of a pending adverse action based on the results of that report. If he did not receive a pre-adverse notice, then he would not have been able to refute the results, which is a right granted by the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Background Checks Should Contain Accurate, Reportable Data

Consumer Reporting Agencies (CRA’s) are authorized to provide employment screening services. These entities must do everything possible to ensure the data they report is accurate and that it can legally be used for employment purposes. This includes taking steps to confirm the identity of every person who is being screened and verifying the data on a background check is for the correct individual.

When dealing with common names, CRA’s must be extra cautious. Identity Verification is always the first step. CRA's use full names, Social Security Numbers, birth dates and other reliable data points to ensure they are referencing the right person. If these steps aren’t followed carefully, then there is a chance that the screening company could supply data for the wrong person.

Applicants Must Be Allowed to Dispute Background Check Results

Even when every precaution is followed, there is a possibility that a report will contain some information for the wrong person. This is a rare scenario, but it can happen due to identity theft or common names. The FCRA stipulates that employers must give applicants time to review the results of their background check and, if necessary, file a dispute before an adverse action occurs.

According to Rosario, he was not notified of any issues or given an opportunity to dispute the results of his report.

About the Lawsuit

Mr. Rosario filed a suit on behalf of himself and anyone who might have gone through the same experience. It is possible that other people who were denied employment at Starbucks could learn about this and choose to participate in the Class Action Lawsuit. If more join, then the claims against Starbucks could increase dramatically.

Rosario seeks a trial by jury and hopes to recover actual, statutory and punitive damages. He also claims that he suffered monetary damages because he was not granted employment. Furthermore, he seeks compensation for interest, legal fees and any other form of relief the court feels is justified.

How This Impacts Your Business

Job seekers who learn about this case may be prompted to consider whether or not they’ve been placed in similar situations. If they have, then they could initiate their own lawsuits.

This situation should serve as a reminder that it is essential for employers to remain compliant with FCRA regulations. Best practice is to work with accredited CRA’s that provide employment screening services in accordance with federal and state laws.

If you have questions about compliance or employment screening, please contact Backgrounds Online for assistance. Our staff is FCRA certified and committed to providing compliant and legally viable background check reports that help protect our customers while they make informed hiring decisions.