Dougherty v. Barrett Business Services, Inc.
Dougherty Settlement
Case No. 17-2-05619-1

Frequently Asked Questions


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  • The Court in this case has approved the posting of this Notice on a website so that it could be viewed by Class Members, who may become members of the Settlement Class. The Class Members are:

    All persons on whom Barrett Business Services, Inc. obtained a consumer report for employment purposes using a disclosure form containing a liability release or an overbroad authorization from August 26, 2013 to January 15, 2019.

    Class membership is determined on the basis of the records of BBSI and the vendors it hired to produce background reports. You may be a Class Member if you applied to work for a different company and your job application was processed by BBSI. If you are unsure of whether you are a Class Member, you can contact the Settlement Administrator at 1-844-546-2897.

    The Notice has been posted because Class Members have a right to know about the settlement of a lawsuit in which they are class members, and about all their options. The court approved the settlement on November 8, 2019. After any appeals are resolved, the benefits provided for by the Settlement will be available to members of the Settlement Class. Class Members became members of the Settlement Class by submitting a Claim Form.

    The Notice explains the Litigation, the Settlement, your legal rights, what benefits are available, who is eligible for them, and how to get them. A full copy of the Settlement Agreement can be reviewed here. The Notice contains only a summary of the Settlement Agreement.

    The Court in charge of this case is the Washington Superior Court in and for the County of Clark. The Litigation is called Amanda Dougherty v. Barrett Business Services, Inc., Case No. 17-2-05619-1 (the “Litigation”). Amanda Dougherty, the person who filed this Litigation, is called the Plaintiff, and BBSI is called the Defendant.

  • Plaintiff alleges that BBSI violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”) when it obtained background reports on job applicants by using a disclosure form that allegedly was not a stand-alone form as required by the FCRA. Plaintiff alleges that the use of allegedly non-compliant disclosure forms (the “Challenged Disclosure Forms”) caused her harm and violated the law.

    BBSI disputes the Plaintiff’s claim and denies all liability to Plaintiff and the Class, and has raised a number of defenses to the claims asserted.  In particular, BBSI maintains that the Challenged Disclosure Forms fully complied with the FCRA and did not harm anyone.

    The Parties are settling the Litigation to avoid further risk and expense. No court has found BBSI to have violated the law in any way. No court has found that the Plaintiff or the Class could recover any certain amount in this Litigation.

    Although the Court has authorized notice to be given of the proposed Settlement, this Notice does not express the opinion of the Court on the merits of the claims or defenses asserted by either side in the Litigation.

  • Class actions are lawsuits in which the claims and rights of many people are decided in a single proceeding. In a class action, a representative Plaintiff is called a “Class Representative.” That Plaintiff seeks to assert claims on behalf of all similarly situated people. The Plaintiff can thus conserve resources by asserting all the claims in one lawsuit. Class actions often involve circumstances where claimed individual damages are too small for people to proceed on their own, but where the defendant’s conduct affected a number of people in the same way.

    Lawyers who represent people who file class actions are called “class counsel.” The lawyers who brought this case (“Class Counsel”) have not yet been paid any money for their work and have paid all their expenses out of pocket. They will be paid only if they win the Litigation or if the Court approves the Settlement.

  • The Court did not decide this case in favor of the Plaintiff or in favor of BBSI. If approved, the Settlement will stop the Litigation from being litigated any more. If the Litigation continued, there is a possibility that the Settlement Class would receive nothing. There is also the possibility that BBSI would be required to pay more than it has agreed to pay as a result of the Settlement.

    Class Counsel investigated the facts and law regarding the Plaintiff’s claims and BBSI’s defenses. The Parties engaged in lengthy and arms-length negotiations to reach this Settlement. Plaintiff and Class Counsel believe that the proposed Settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate and in the best interests of the Settlement Class.

    Both sides agree that by settling BBSI is not admitting any liability or that it did anything wrong. Both sides want to avoid the uncertainties and expense of further litigation.

  • You are part of the Settlement if you applied for a job and your job application was processed by BBSI and BBSI conducted a background check about you using one of the Challenged Disclosure Forms at any time from August 26, 2013 to January 15, 2019. Plaintiff alleges that BBSI, to obtain background reports on job applicants, used disclosure forms that were not stand-alone forms (as the FCRA requires), but that instead contained additional information not permitted by law. To receive a payment, you must submit a Claim Form.

    If you have received a notice, the records of BBSI and the vendors it hired to produce background reports indicate you are a member of the Settlement Class. If you are not certain as to whether you are a Class Member, you may contact the Settlement Administrator to find out. The Administrator can be reached at 1-844-546-2897. The question of class membership will be determined based on the records of BBSI and the vendors it hired to produce background reports. 

  • The Settlement provides money for Settlement Class Members. BBSI will provide a settlement fund of $1,500,000. This money will be available for payment to about 48,935 Class Members and will also be used to pay for any court-approved attorneys’ fees and costs, Class Representative service payment, and administration costs.

    The exact amount each Class Member will receive will depend on the amount of fees, service payments and costs, as well as the number of Claim Forms returned. Although the exact amount of payment will vary depending on the amount of attorneys’ fees and costs, Class Representative Service payment, administration costs, and the number of Claim Forms submitted, it is expected that Settlement Class Members will receive between $80-$300.  You needed to submit a Claim Form in order to get money from the settlement.

  • To get money from the settlement, you must have completed a Claim Form (submitted or postmarked on or before September 17, 2019). The deadline to submit a Claim Form has passed.

    Your interest as a Class Member will be represented by the Plaintiff and Class Counsel. You will be bound by any judgment arising from the Settlement. If the Settlement is approved, and you timely return a valid Claim Form, the Settlement Administrator will send you a check for any money you’re entitled to under the Settlement.

    If  you  change  your address,  you  must  mail  a  notification  of  your  new address  to  the Settlement Administrator or submit a change of address online.

  • The Court held a Final Approval Hearing on November 8, 2019 at 9:00 a.m. (PST) at the Clark County Courthouse located at 1200 Franklin Street, Vancouver, Washington, to decide whether to approve the Settlement. The Court approved the Settlement on November 8, 2019. If there are any appeals to the final approval order, they can take time to resolve. The Final Approval Order is available to review here.

  • Upon the Court’s approval of the Settlement, all Class Members (whether or not they have timely submitted a properly completed Claim Form) who have not timely and properly opted out of the Settlement Class (as well as their spouses, heirs, and others who may possess rights on their behalf), will fully release BBSI from any and all claims arising out of or relating directly or indirectly in any manner whatsoever to the facts alleged or that could have been alleged or asserted in the Litigation, including but not limited to any and all claims under 15 U.S.C. § 1681b, and any analogous state law claims. This release explicitly includes claims for actual damages, statutory damages, and punitive damages, as well as for attorneys’ fees and costs. 

    This release may affect your rights, and may carry obligations, in the future. To view the full terms of this release, please read the Settlement Agreement.

  • The deadline to exclude yourself from the Settlement or "opt out" was September 17, 2019 and has passed. 

  • No. Unless you excluded yourself, you will give up any right to sue BBSI for the claims that this Settlement resolves, even if you did not submit a Claim Form. If you have a pending lawsuit, speak to your lawyer in that case immediately.

  • No. If you excluded yourself, you are not part of the Settlement.

  • The Court has appointed Berger Montague, and Terrell Marshall Law Group PLLC as Class Counsel:

    E. Michelle Drake
    John Albanese
    Berger Montague
    43 SE Main Street, Suite 505
    Minneapolis, MN 55414

    Beth E. Terrell
    Blythe H. Chandler
    Terrell Marshall Law Group PLLC
    936 North 34th Street, Suite 300
    Seattle, WA 98103

    You may hire your own attorney to advise you, but if you hire your own attorney, you will be responsible for paying that attorney’s fees.

  • Class Counsel have not been paid anything for their representation of the Settlement Class to date. They have paid all the expenses of litigation out of their own pockets. If they were to lose the case, they would be paid nothing.

    In connection with this Settlement, Class Counsel intend to apply to the Court for payment of attorneys’ fees, in an amount not to exceed one-third of the total Gross Settlement Amount, plus reasonable out-of- pocket expenses. The Court will evaluate whether this fee request is reasonable in light of Class Counsel’s skill and the risk they undertook in bringing the Litigation. The Court may award less.

    The Court has appointed the Plaintiff, Amanda Dougherty, as the Class Representative. Class Counsel also will seek compensation for her services to the Class Members, in an amount not to exceed $3,500. This compensation is intended to pay the Class Representative for the time and effort put into bringing this Litigation on behalf of everyone in the Settlement Class.

    The costs of settlement administration are expected to be approximately $70,000. If awarded by the Court, all of these amounts will be paid directly out of the settlement fund.

  • The deadline to object to the Settlement was September 17, 2019 and has passed.

  • Objecting is simply telling the Court that you don’t like something about the Settlement. You can object only if you stay in the Settlement. Excluding yourself is telling the Court that you don’t want to be part of the Settlement. If you excluded yourself, you have no basis to object because the Litigation no longer affects you.

  • There was a final approval hearing to consider approval of the proposed Settlement on November 8, 2019 at 9:00 a.m. (PST) in Clark County Superior Court at 1200 Franklin Street in Vancouver, Washington. The purpose of the hearing was to determine the fairness, reasonableness, and adequacy of the terms of Settlement; whether the Settlement Class is adequately represented by the Class Representatives and Class Counsel; and whether an order and Final Judgment should be entered approving the proposed Settlement. The Court also considered Class Counsel’s application for payment of attorneys’ fees and expenses and Class Representatives’ compensation.

    You were represented at the final approval hearing by Class Counsel, unless you chose to enter an appearance in person or through your own counsel. The appearance of your own attorney was not necessary to participate in the hearing. The Court approved the Settlement. The Final Approval Order is available here.

    The Court approved the Settlement Agreement at the Final Approval Hearing on November 8, 2019. 

  • No. Class Counsel represented the Settlement Class at the final approval hearing, but you could have come at your own expense. If you sent any objection, you did not have to come to Court to talk about it, but you could have if you wished. As long as you timely submitted your written objection, the Court considered it. You could have also paid your own lawyer to attend, if you wished.

    The Court approved the Settlement Agreement at the Final Approval Hearing on November 8, 2019. 

  • You could have asked the Court for permission to speak at the Final Approval Hearing. To do so, you must have sent with your objection a notice of intention to appear at the hearing as described in FAQ 15. You could not have spoken at the hearing if you excluded yourself.

  • The Notice is only a summary. For a more detailed statement of the matters involved in the Litigation or the Settlement, you may refer to the papers filed in this case during regular business hours at the office of the Clerk of the Court, Clark County Superior Court, 1200 Franklin Street, Vancouver, Washington, 98660, File: Dougherty v. Barrett Business Services, Inc., Case No. 17-2-05619-1. The full Settlement Agreement and certain pleadings filed in the case are also available on the Important Documents page or can be requested, in writing or by phone, from the Settlement Administrator.

    The Court approved the Settlement Agreement at the Final Approval Hearing on November 8, 2019. 

  • You can view this Settlement website or contact the lawyers representing the Settlement Class, identified in FAQ 13. Please do not contact the Court for information.

For More Information

Visit this website often to get the most up-to-date information.


Dougherty v. Barrett Business Services, Inc.
c/o JND Legal Administration
PO Box 91221
Seattle, WA 98111-9321