Luna v. Hansen & Adkins Auto Transport, Inc., No. 18-55804 (9th Cir. 2020)

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Justia Opinion Summary

Luna is a former employee of Hansen, which employs over 1,100 big rig truckers, mechanics, dispatchers, and other support staff. Hansen’s hiring process involved a Commercial Driver Employment Application, which included notices and authorizations permitting Hansen to retrieve safety history and driving records, and conduct drug and background checks. Job applicants signed “the disclosure,” which appeared on a separate sheet of paper, and informed applicants “that reports verifying your previous employment, previous drug and alcohol test results, and your driving record may be obtained on you for employment purposes,” and “the authorization,” at the end of the Application, which indicated that an applicant’s signature authorized Hansen “to investigate my previous record of employment” and included other notices, waivers, and agreements unrelated to acquiring the consumer report.

Luna filed a putative class action alleging Hansen ’s hiring process violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). The Ninth Circuit affirmed summary judgement in favor of Hansen. FCRA forbids procurement of a consumer report for employment purposes unless “a clear and conspicuous disclosure has been made in writing ... in a document that consists solely of the disclosure.” 15 U.S.C. 1681b(b)(2)(A)(i). Hansen’s disclosure may have been provided alongside other application materials, but it appeared in a standalone document, as FCRA requires.

Court Description: Fair Credit Reporting Act. Affirming the district court’s summary judgment in favor of defendant, the panel held that an employer does not violate the Fair Credit Reporting Act by providing a FCRA disclosure simultaneously with other employment materials, and by failing to place a FCRA authorization on a standalone document. The panel held that 15 U.S.C. § 1681b(b)(2)(A)(i), forbidding procurement of a consumer report for employment purposes unless “a clear and conspicuous disclosure has been made in writing to the consumer . . . in a document that consists solely of the disclosure,” does not prohibit the presentation of the disclosure together with other application materials. The panel held that the co- presentation of the disclosure and an authorization did not render the disclosure neither clear nor conspicuous. Further, the FCRA requires only that a consumer authorization be “in ** The Honorable Barrington D. Parker, Jr., United States Circuit Judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, sitting by designation. LUNA V. HANSEN & ADKINS AUTO TRANSPORT 3 writing,” not that it be put in a clear and conspicuous, standalone document.
Primary Holding
Ninth Circuit rejects a Fair Credit Reporting Act challenge to hiring documents.

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