Background Screening CRAs: Employment and Tenant Screening

Tuesday, May 12, 2020, 1:15 p.m. ET–2:15 p.m. ET

Learn how to spot common challenges and litigate FCRA cases with background screening violations


Sharon Dietrich has been an attorney with the Employment Unit of Community Legal Services (CLS), Philadelphia, since 1987. She became CLS’ Managing Attorney for Public Benefits and Employment in 1997 and its Litigation Director in 2014. A focus of Ms. Dietrich’s work has been issues involving the employment of people with criminal records. She has co-counseled with Francis & Mailman on numerous class actions brought under the FCRA against background screeners, including for the inclusion of expunged cases on background checks. Others activities involving criminal records include representing hundreds of people who have been denied employment because of their criminal records; leading CLS’s legislative advocacy on Pennsylvania’s innovative Clean Slate law (Act 56) to seal more than 30 million minor criminal cases through automation; and leading CLS’s work in the National Record Clearing Project to provide technical assistance nationwide for provision of expungement and sealing representation.

James Fishman is a former Assistant AG in the Bureau of Consumer Frauds and Protection and a Senior Staff Attorney at The Legal Aid Society’s Civil Division. In private practice since 1989 specializing in tenant and consumer issues, he has pioneered strategies to address “tenant blacklisting” as well as consumer protection and privacy claims in individual and class action cases and has successfully pursued claims under the FCRA, the FDCPA, and the Deceptive Practices Act against credit bureaus, debt collectors, creditors, landlords, and attorneys in both state and federal court. Mr. Fishman has had a Martindale-Hubbell “AV” rating since 2006, received NACA’s 2002 Consumer Hero of the Year Award, received a 2008 Wasserstein Public Interest Fellowship from Harvard Law School, and has been named a “Top Lawyer in New York” each year since 2012.