But it makes your blood boil as you read each vicious word that a client has written.
Words that publicly smear you as a business person and as a professional.
Words that aren’t fair.
What do you do? Daniel Baxter thinks you should take a deep breath and walk away from your screen.
“Just as often as not, the response to a Yelp review or a social media post can have more negative ramifications than the review itself,” said the partner at Sacramento law firm Wilke, Fleury, Hoffelt, Gould & Birney, LLP.
The digital age has brought many tools to make the lives of vets easier.
It also brings its share of challenges.
And a bad online review or an angry social media rant by a client is a challenge most vets will face over the course of their career.
Sacramento, Calif., July 21, 2017 – Aaron R. Claxton has joined Wilke Fleury as an Associate, expanding the firm’s capacity to serve the needs of clients in the areas of healthcare and corporate law. Previously, Mr. Claxton worked closely with clients at a local insurance brokerage and was a member of the Elder and Health Law Clinic where he participated in the successful appeal of a denied Medicare claim that resulted in a reimbursement in excess of $100,000 to the estate of a client.
Mr. Claxton graduated from University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, Juris Doctor with Distinction, and St. Mary’s College, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Finance with Honors. He lives in Natomas with his wife and son, and enjoys traveling, cycling, hiking and soccer. “The practice of law provides a unique opportunity to develop effective and creative solutions to advance the interests of clients,” Claxton states.
Wilke Fleury is thrilled to announce our 2017 Super Lawyers and Rising Stars! Twelve of our talented attorneys have been honored with the Super Lawyers distinction and an additional four attorneys were honored with the Rising Stars distinction.
Super Lawyers® is a service of the Thomson Reuters, Legal Division. Each year, the research team at Super Lawyers® undertakes a rigorous multi-phase selection process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, independent evaluation of candidates by the attorney-led research staff, a peer review of candidates by practice area and a good-standing and disciplinary check. The Super Lawyers list represents only five percent of lawyers in California and Rising Stars reflects 2.5% of the state’s up-and-coming lawyers.
Congratulations to Wilke Fleury’s 2017 Super Lawyers and Rising Stars!
Background checks are oftentimes a condition of employment. Employers who seek to perform background checks must comply with applicable state and federal law before they can obtain such information. This generally includes statutory disclosures and obtaining authorization from the applicant. Employers who fail to comply with the letter of the law can be sued for violation of the statutory requirements, even when the employee has not suffered any actual damages from noncompliance.
Syed v. M-I, LLC (2017) 853 F.3d 492 is instructive. The employer was sued under the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”) because its disclosure document for seeking a background check on applicants did not comply with the FCRA. The FCRA requires a clear and conspicuous written disclosure before a background check can be performed for employment purposes. The statute also requires a written authorization for the background check, and permits the authorization to appear in the same document as the disclosure. The problem in this case was that the disclosure document contained too much information. Besides the disclosure and the authorization, the employer also included a release of liability. The court of appeal determined that the FCRA was not ambiguous in its requirement of a document consisting “solely” of the disclosure. The only exception was for the authorization to be included as part of the disclosure document, so by including the release despite the statute’s unambiguous language, the employer willfully violated the FCRA.
Notably, the employee did not claim that he suffered any actual damages in his lawsuit. Afterall, he was hired. He subsequently learned of the error when he reviewed his personnel file and saw the release that he signed when he was as an applicant. Nevertheless, he was still able to sue his employer for statutory and punitive damages, and could seek to recover his attorney fees. This case is a lesson to employers of the importance of getting it right, particularly in an area so heavily regulated by statute as are background checks. Errors in records can stick around for quite some time, and employers may face lawsuits for seemingly harmless errors. Employees may even have help in looking for and finding problems because the FCRA, like numerous employment statutes, allow employees to recoup their attorney fees when they prevail on their statutory claims.
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