Macy’s Faces Class Action Lawsuit for Improper Background Checks Impacting Minorities

In a recent legal development, retail giant Macy’s finds itself at the center of a class action lawsuit filed in Manhattan federal court. The lawsuit directly challenges Macy’s policy of terminating recently hired employees based on undisclosed criminal convictions revealed through background checks. Pechman Law, a renowned employment law firm, provides an in-depth analysis of the case and its potential ramifications.

The plaintiff named in the lawsuit is Jenette Roflet, who was hired by Macy’s as a customer service representative in 2018. During her orientation, Roflet was taken aside by a Macy’s representative who questioned her about a decade-old conviction found in her background report. Crucially, Macy’s failed to provide her with a copy of the report. Despite Roflet’s attempts to explain the circumstances surrounding the conviction, she was terminated just a few days after her orientation. This lawsuit aims to certify a class of individuals, including Roflet, who were denied employment by Macy’s without being given access to the consumer reports containing adverse information.

The lawsuit argues that Macy’s policy disproportionately affects minority workers, such as Roflet, as individuals from Black and Latino communities are more likely to have criminal histories due to discriminatory practices within the criminal justice system. The alleged policy violation is seen as a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.

Furthermore, the lawsuit contends that Macy’s is in violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. According to the act, candidates must be notified if their criminal records were used as a basis for denying employment. Macy’s failure to inform the candidates about the information found in their background reports constitutes a violation of their rights under this federal law.

Under the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL), employers are required to consider factors such as the length of time since the conviction(s), the applicant’s age at the time of the conviction, the job responsibilities, and the impact of the conviction history on the individual’s ability to perform the job. The lawsuit alleges that Macy’s failed to take these factors into account when reviewing the criminal histories of prospective employees, thus violating the NYCHRL.

This lawsuit against Macy’s follows a trend where other prominent employers, including 7-Eleven, have faced similar allegations of improper background check practices in recent times.

For more information on the class action lawsuit against Macy’s and to stay updated on employment law and prevailing wages in New York matters, please contact the attorneys at Pechman Law Group at 212-583-9500. Gain valuable insights into your rights as an employee and stay informed about the evolving legal landscape.


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