Applicants Win Certification in Disneyland Background Check Lawsuit

On July 6, 2017 a California judge certified two classes of potential Disneyland employees alleging that the most magical place on earth violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Allegations indicate that Disneyland did not provide prospective employees with copies of their background checks prior to making the final decision in the hiring process. In failing to provide copies of their background checks they deprived them of the chance to contest any inaccurate reports.

California Superior Court Judge Ann I. Jones granted certification to a class of job applicants who were subject to “no hire” recommendations for Walt Disney Co. The “no hire” recommendations were based on info obtained in prospective employee background checks. Class certification was also granted to a class of applicants who signed a consent form later alleged to be insufficient in effectively disclosing that a screening would occur.

The class period for both will run from November 2011 through the present. During that time there were 715 “no hire” recommendations made for prospective employees. There were also 43,000 signed consent forms the plaintiffs’ allege were insufficient to comply with the law. Roger L. Culberson, plaintiff, alleges that he was deprived of his legal right and opportunity to correct inaccurate reports before Disney took adverse employment action resulting in him not getting the job.

In 1998, Culberson was convicted of batter, but the charge was later expunged from his record (2010). In 2011, Culberson was hired by Disney, but then told him not to bother reporting to mandatory orientation when they had a chance to look at his background check. Culberson claims the background check inaccurately reported 2010 as the date of the conviction. Culberson filed a complaint in 2013.

The “no hire” recommendation was placed in Culberson’s file by the Disney security department on December 8th, 2011. This was just one day after Disney received Sterling Infosystems Inc. background check including the inaccurate report of the conviction date. Culberson learned of the mistake when he called to check the status of his job application. He was advised he did not have a job. He contacted Sterling to contest the inaccurate information on December 9, 2011. On December 15th, 2011, the background report company issued a revised report removing the inaccurate reference to 2010 as the date of conviction. Culberson still wasn’t hired.

Disney claims it removed the “no hire” recommendation when the corrected report was received, but that once the issue was sorted out, they no longer needed to hire for seasonal work.

If you feel your rights were violated during the hiring process or if you had a company take adverse hiring action following a background check without first providing you with a copy, please get in touch with one of the experienced California employment law attorneys at Blumenthal, Nordrehaug & Bhowmik.