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But under federal law, Wells Fargo could not employ a mortgage originator — which was what Martin did — who had been convicted of a crime involving dishonesty.
First Advantage, hired by Wells Fargo to conduct background checks, discovered Martin’s arrest for impersonating an officer, noting that he was found guilty of a misdemeanor and that the record indicated he had been jailed for a year and given probation.
Shortly after Wells Fargo fired him, Martin went to court and had the case expunged. But he also filed a form disputing First Advantage’s findings. First Advantage did not change its findings, according to Davis, and Martin filed suit in October 2011.
Davis, ruling that a “reasonable jury could find that [First Advantage’s] re-investigation was not reasonable,” let Martin’s lawsuit claims stand.
He said that by failing to correct and delete inaccurate records, First Advantage might be held by a jury to have failed to comply with either the federal Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act or the Minnesota Business Screening Services Act.
On Wednesday, Martin said that as a result of being fired, he was unemployed for six months and he and his partner lost their medical benefits.
He expressed gratitude that Davis will allow the suit over the background check to continue.
“At least I will have an opportunity to present my case to a judge and jury,” he said.
Randy Furst • 612-673-4224