Swift Makes $4.4M Settlement Over Background Checks


swift transportation lawsuit

Swift To Pay $4.4 Million To Applicants

Swift Transportation has agreed to a $4.4 million class-action settlement in the case involving claims that Swift Transportation violated terms of the Fair Credit Reporting Act by not disclosing to driver applicants that it could access background checks and not allowing applicants to contest the carrier’s findings in such reports.

This settlement applies to any driver applicant for Swift between July 23, 2008, and Sept. 30, 2012, for whom Swift obtained a background check, motor vehicle history report or consumer report and did not first have an in-person interaction with, according to court documents. 

There are about 161,000 members in the class, court documents say, divided into two individual types, which will be known as Group 1 and Group 2. Group 1 will have nearly 48,000 total members and Group 2 will have around 113,000 members. Group 1 members will get $50 each, and the remainder the $4.4 million will be divided between the Group 2 members, with each settlement to not exceed $50 and the overall settlement to not exceed $4.4 million.

The Swift lawsuit was brought forward by James Ellis III in the summer of 2013, who claimed he was denied a job with Swift after the company performed a background check on him. He argued the company was not allowed to view the report and that Swift did not disclose to him that he could see a free copy of the background report for 60 days to contest any information within it. This is a clear cut violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Both parties reach an agreement in February.

This brings up the question, will we see more lawsuits from truckers? Just like we’re seeing with Pilot lawsuits, individual charges may be filed. Class members do have 60 days from the settlement’s final court approval to opt out and pursue separate legal action.

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