A Data Breach Leads to a Class Action Lawsuit Against Home Depot

A class action lawsuit has been filed against Home Depot (HD) in the U.S. Home Depot is one of the largest home improvement centers in the country, and is widely recognized as a top home improvement and home decorating chain. Home Depot has long used software to track and report what customers are doing on its web site, which according to a class action lawsuit, it claims does not violate any part of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). Yet, according to this lawsuit, HR managers instructed store employees to ignore and delete all reports of shoplifting or theft from customers’ accounts.

Lawsuit Against Home Depot

Plaintiffs claim that H.R. managers instructed them to delete negative reports of shoplifting or theft with the goal of keeping their jobs. They further claim that management promised to review reports of such activity with the goal of taking no corrective action and keeping them off of plaintiffs’ accounts.

According to three lawsuits that were filed in November 2021 by former and current employees at Home Depot, these promises were made directly to employees without warning and after plaintiffs had already suffered financial harm as a result of being wrongfully terminated from their jobs.

In the second lawsuit, plaintiffs were awarded a substantial monetary settlement. In the first lawsuit, the plaintiff won its lawsuit and was reimbursed with back wages and legal fees.

In the second lawsuit, the court ruled in favor of the plaintiff and awarded a settlement. The third lawsuit was dismissed. In an agreement with the court, the company settled the claims.

This is not the first time that plaintiffs have claimed that they were retaliated against for reporting their poor working conditions and/or high quality of service.

Other cases have been settled for less than the amount claimed in legal filings. In one case, a former employee sued her former employer, claiming that she was unfairly terminated after she complained about being required to work extra long hours on a Saturday because the store did not supply her with vacation time, despite requests. Another case involved an employee who was fired after she complained about being improperly compensated for time worked. The court found that the company had violated state statutes regarding minimum wage laws. An attorney was not paid for his services, despite winning the lawsuit.

Another case in point involves the wrongful termination of a former employee from Kmart Corporation.

Plaintiffs alleged that the defendant’s policies of rewarding employees for increasing sales made it impossible for them to survive in their jobs. The defendant vigorously opposed these allegations, filing its own lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California. The District Court found that the plaintiff did not demonstrate that the policies were unfair and dismissed the lawsuit. The parties then agreed to enter into a consent agreement, setting forth guidelines for class action lawsuit funding, which the defendants would abide by if they were going to seek any reimbursement from Kmart.

Although these are only two examples of what can occur when one party files a lawsuit, plaintiffs should be careful when approaching either Kmart or Home Depot to obtain funding for a lawsuit. If the company’s policies clearly violate state statutes or the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the company may be forced to repay any damages incurred. The threat of a punitive lawsuit often dissuades companies from taking advantage of a consumer, but if a data breach occurs that forces a victim to incur excessive costs, the situation may turn out differently.

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