U.S. judge OKs $562K settlement of class-action lawsuit over inaccurate criminal background checks

A federal judge has approved a $562,500 settlement of a class-action lawsuit against a company accused of providing prospective employers with inaccurate criminal background checks.

Most of the money from the settlement involving Yale Associates Inc. that was sanctioned by U.S. Middle District Senior Judge Yvette Kane will result in payments pf $333 each to more than 1,000 people whose criminal histories were incorrectly reported.

The deal ends a four-year court battle. It began when T. Jason Noye, the lead plaintiff, accused Yale of misreporting four summary offenses lodged against him as more serious misdemeanor crimes.

Pennsylvania law allows prospective employers to consider candidates’ felony and misdemeanor convictions, but not summary convictions, which are the lowest level of offenses in the state’s Crime Code, Noye contended in the suit. Littering and loitering, for instance, are summaries.

Noye claimed in filing suit in 2015 that Yale incorrectly reported to a prospective employer that he had four misdemeanors on his record. Those were actually summaries, he said. He said the employer withdrew its job offer after receiving the Yale report.

Yale’s errors violated the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act, Noye contended. FULL ARTICLE

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