Bus Drivers File Class Action Suits Against First Group

Oct 05, 2009, 12:43 ET from Amalgamated Transit Union

Employees Assert Rights under Fair Credit Reporting Act

WASHINGTON, Oct. 5 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, in two separate class actions, members of the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) filed lawsuits against First Student and First Transit - North American subsidiaries of First Group plc of Great Britain- for violation of their legal rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. The suits were filed in federal district courts in Illinois.

In each case, workers were summarily dismissed from employment after First Group subsidiaries hired a vendor to perform a background check on their employees and the vendor reported that the employee had a purported past criminal record.

Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, employers are obliged to notify employees of any adverse actions anticipated as a result of a background check, and to give the employees a reasonable opportunity to dispute the accuracy of the reported information.

"First Group has been trampling the rights of workers," asserted ATU International President Warren S. George. "Now we see that they have been trampling U.S. law as well. That's why the ATU has retained counsel to represent the legal rights of not just our members - but all employees and job applicants at First Group."

ATU members Elizabeth Hunter and William Garraughty are the named plaintiffs in the class action filed against First Transit. ATU members Tasha Joshaway, Michael Yurkowski and Debbie Goin are the named plaintiffs in the class action against First Student.

The lawsuits filed by the Chicago law firm of Hughes Socol Piers Resnick & Dym, Ltd., will seek relief for all employees summarily dismissed - and all applicants similarly refused employment - on the basis of a background check.

The ATU, which represents over 12,000 employees of First Group subsidiaries in North America, is investigating whether Canadian laws may also been violated by First Group.

The Amalgamated Transit Union is the largest labor organization representing transit workers in the United States and Canada. Founded in 1892, the ATU is composed of over 190,000 members in 264 local unions spread across 44 states and nine provinces. Comprised of bus drivers, light rail operators, maintenance and clerical personnel and other transit and municipal employees, the ATU works to promote transit issues and fights for the interests of its hard-working members.

    Contact: Shawn Perry
    Tel: 202-537-1645
    Email: stp@atu.org

SOURCE Amalgamated Transit Union