Driver files lawsuit against Swift over background checks

By Clarissa Kell-Holland, Land Line staff writer | 7/26/2013

A truck driver has filed a class action complaint against Swift Transportation, alleging the Arizona-based company violated the Fair Credit and Reporting Act by failing to properly disclose its hiring practices, including background checks.

According to court documents, James Ellis III, named plaintiff in the class action complaint, applied for a trucking job with Swift. On or around May 15, 2012, Swift then procured his consumer report and criminal background check from HireRight Solutions Inc. without his consent.

Ellis claims Swift immediately disqualified him from further consideration for employment after receiving the information obtained in his criminal background report.

In the lawsuit, Ellis alleges that Swift “does not provide or obtain an appropriate disclosure and authorization from job applicants … prior to acquiring these criminal background reports.”

He also claims that Swift did not notify him that he could obtain a free copy of the consumer report within 60 days and that he could dispute the “accuracy or completeness of the information contained in the consumer report directly with the consumer reporting agency.”

Ellis’ lawsuit seeks statutory and punitive damages.

In April, U.S. Xpress settled a class action lawsuit for $2.75 million over background checks involving HireRight – which was also fined $2.6 million by the Federal Trade Commission in August 2012 for numerous violations under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

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