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Jones v. Federated Financial Reserve Corporation

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The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals finds that an employer may be subject to vicarious liability for unauthorized access to a credit report by an employee. The Court states that failure to impose vicarious liability on a corporation like Federated would allow it to escape liability for "willful" or "negligent" violations of the statute. Because a corporation can act only through its agents, it is difficult to imagine a situation in which a company would ever be found to have willfully violated the statute directly by obtaining a credit report for an impermissible purpose. And the FCRA's deterrence goal would be subverted if a corporation could escape liability for a violation that could only occur because the corporation cloaked its agent with the apparent authority to request credit reports Thus, vicarious liability is appropriate.

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