SEPTA Conviction Discrimination Lawsuit
Were you denied employment by SEPTA because of your criminal record or the results of a background check?
Case Overview – Does this apply to you?
Settlement Approval Hearing The Court will hold a settlement approval hearing on October 7, 2021, at 11:30 a.m., at the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, James A. Byrne U.S. Courthouse, 601 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106. The hearing will take place in person and is open to the public. ________ On April 27, 2016, Outten & Golden, LLP, Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, the Public Interest Law Center, and Willig, Williams & Davidson filed a proposed class action lawsuit on behalf of Frank Long and other job applicants similarly impacted by the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority’s (“SEPTA”) criminal background check policies and practices. Plaintiffs allege that SEPTA violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”) by failing to properly inform job applicants that it was requesting to run background checks and by failing to provide job applicants with copies of those background checks and a statement of their rights under the FCRA before denying them employment. Plaintiffs also allege that SEPTA violated Pennsylvania’s Criminal History Record Information Act by disqualifying job applicants with unrelated convictions from employment at SEPTA. On September 10, 2018, the Third Circuit reversed the district court’s ruling that SEPTA’s alleged failure to provide Plaintiffs with copies of their background check reports did not cause them concrete harm—allowing the case to go forward in federal court. The Third Circuit explained that this requirement in the FCRA allows an applicant “to ensure that the report is true, and may also enable [the applicant] to advocate for it to be used fairly—such as by explaining why true but negative information is irrelevant to his fitness for the job.” This was “‘the very harm that Congress sought to prevent, arising from prototypical conduct’ proscribed by the FCRA.” Individuals who applied to work for SEPTA and were denied employment because of their criminal records since 2014 may be eligible to participate in the lawsuit.
- Did you apply to work for SEPTA?
- Were you denied employment, at least in part, because of your criminal history and/or the results of a background check?