Genesis Healthcare improperly uses background checks, federal lawsuit charges

A woman hired as an occupational therapist says Genesis used her background check improperly.
A woman hired as an occupational therapist says Genesis used her background check improperly.

One of the largest nursing home chains in the nation uses background checks on potential employees in a way that violates the Fair Credit Reporting Act, according to a federal lawsuit filed last week.

Genesis Healthcare hired plaintiff Doris Ramos in July 2014 to work as an occupational therapist, then rescinded the job offer after a background check, the complaint states. Ramos contends that Genesis never provided her with a copy of the background check and a statement of her rights, as called for by the FCRA, Law360 reported. The FCRA governs the collection and distribution of consumer information, including background checks as well as credit reporting.

Ramos also claims that the background check inaccurately said that she had a felony conviction. Because of this alleged error, Ramos also has brought a claim against General Information Services Inc., charging that the consumer reporting firm contracted by Genesis does not take reasonable steps to ensure accuracy.

The disputed felony conviction was related to child abuse charges from 1977, according to Law360.

“The child's injury arose when plaintiff's former husband disciplined the couple's son with a belt. As the child's mother, plaintiff was deemed equally responsible for the incident although she took no part in it,” the complaint states. The state of Texas ultimately charged her only with a misdemeanor, Ramos maintains.

Ramos is seeking class action status for her charges against Genesis and is asking for unspecified damages, Law360 reported.

Pennsylvania-based Genesis combined with Skilled Healthcare Group in August. The $2.8 billion deal created a company with more than 500 long-term care facilities nationwide.