Major Insurance Company Sued for Denying Employment to Sex Trafficking Victim

November 15, 2023

A woman who previously won a beauty pageant is suing a prominent insurance company in a court in New York. According to the plaintiff, the company violated New York law by rescinding a job offer. She explained it happened after the company learned of her past as a victim of sex trafficking and previous accusations or convictions of some crimes.

The Complaint

According to the complaint, the plaintiff applied for a position with the insurance company in February 2021. Though she received a job offer the following month, communications from the company became unexplainably strained. This change happened after the company conducted a background check.

Furthermore, the insurance company requested information about the background check results. The complaint revealed how the company inquired about every charge from 2021 and the disposition of these records. The defendant provided this information and prepared to work for the company. 

The plaintiff received an insurance license and the other required documentation to start working during this time. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority also listed her as an insurance company employee. However, the plaintiff learned in June that the insurance company intended to rescind her employment.

The Case

The plaintiff claims that the company illegally withdrew the job. According to the complaint, the insurance company violated the New York State Human Rights Law by terminating or denying her employment due to her criminal background. This law bans employers from refusing to hire someone because of their past as a victim of sex crimes. As a result, the plaintiff seeks punitive and compensatory damages in addition to lost wages. 

Her records revealed that she pled guilty to a charge of alcohol possession and a dropped theft charge. Furthermore, the plaintiff alleged that the defendant withdrew the offer after discovering her past as a victim of a sex trafficking crime. She was an unwilling participant in an adult film at the time. As a result of the pulled job offer, she claimed that using this record against her employment also violated the New York State Human Rights Law.

This case is a stark reminder that employers must comply with state and federal laws when conducting criminal background checks on applicants and current employees. Failure to do so can result in penalties, such as fines and lawsuits like the above. One way to ensure your company complies with related laws is to partner with a trustworthy background check company. The right partner will deliver accurate and compliant reports.

Keep your business compliant with background checking laws and regulations with JDP’s reliable background checks. Contact a sales rep today.