LinkedIn Not Considered a CRA

A federal judge in the Northern District of California dismissed a case brought by four plaintiffs last fall claiming that LinkedIn was operating as a consumer reporting agency (CRA). The plaintiffs claim that the site’s feature “Search for References” constitutes as a consumer report under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). By accessing this information, employers could get details about an applicant’s work history and even send messages to previous co-workers without the applicant providing any written consent.

The allegations go on to say that employers would use the information obtained through LinkedIn in making a hiring decision without the applicant’s consent, and not provide certain disclosures before the check was completed. Furthermore, applicants who were denied employment were not afforded the pre-adverse/adverse action process (applicant dispute) which is in pure violation of their rights under the FCRA. In making his decision, U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul Grewal said LinkedIn is not a CRA as defined by the law; therefore, acquiring reference reports from the site does not mean that it is a consumer report subjected to the FCRA.


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Employers Choice Screening is a national employment background screening, and compliance training company headquartered in California with multiple certifications and registrations. We welcome the opportunity to work with chief procurement officers and diversity supply chain procurement managers to bid on RFPs and respond to RFQs for employment background screening, drug testing, and mandated employee compliance training services.