The trucking company New England Motor Freight has agreed to pay $870,500 to settle a federal class action lawsuit that it failed to get proper authorization from truck drivers before checking their credit reports and then later denying them employment.
A New Jersey federal court approved the settlement in late May in which 1,890 of 5,843 preliminary class members filed claim forms. Job applicants whose records were checked without their knowledge will get up to $333 each and a sub-class who were explicitly denied employment after the credit checks will get up to $800 each.
The lead plaintiff in the case, Leonard Smith, will receive $5,000, while 30% of the total award will go for attorneys’ fee.
The case was originally filed by lawyers representing Smith two-years ago, after applying for work at the company in 2011. It claimed NEMF did not notify him it was going to obtain a consumer report for employment purposes. When Smith contacted NEMF about the status of his job application, he was allegedly told that his employment was denied due to information contained in the consumer report.
New Jersey-based NEMF has not admitted to any wrongdoing.