Katharine Parker

Katharine Parker

Proskauer Rose LLP

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Addressing and Preventing Workplace Violence

The subject of workplace violence has unfortunately made headlines once again after a news anchor and cameraman were killed by a former co-worker in Virginia last week. Employers are understandably concerned and have...more

9/3/2015 - ADA Anti-Harassment Policies Criminal Background Checks Criminal Records Disability Discrimination Discrimination EAP Employer Liability Issues Harassment Hiring & Firing Mental Illness OSHA Policies and Procedures Workplace Hazards Workplace Safety Workplace Violence

Georgia Enacts “Mini”-FCRA

For more than four decades, the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”) has regulated consumer reporting agencies (“CRAs”) that furnish consumer reports (i.e., background checks) to third parties such as employers. Over...more

7/6/2015 - Background Checks CRA Criminal Background Checks Employee Rights Employer Liability Issues FCRA Hiring & Firing New Legislation

NYC Mayor Signs “Ban the Box” Law

On June 29th, Mayor Bill DeBlasio signed a bill (Int. No. 318) that amends the New York City Human Rights Law (“NYCHRL”) to further restrict employers (with four or more employees) from inquiring into or otherwise considering...more

6/30/2015 - Ban the Box Conditional Job Offers Criminal Background Checks Hiring & Firing New Legislation NYCHRL

Oregon “Bans the Box” for Private Employers

Oregon is the latest state to “ban the box” for private employers. Starting January 1, 2016, an employer may not require an applicant to disclose a criminal conviction on an employment application or at any time prior to an...more

6/29/2015 - Ban the Box Criminal Background Checks Hiring & Firing Job Applicants New Legislation

New Nevada Law Expands Employer Access to Conviction Records

While Nevada law does not limit how far back employers can directly ask applicants or employees about their conviction history, for years it has generally prohibited consumer reporting agencies (CRAs) from providing employers...more

6/26/2015 - Arrest and Conviction Records Background Checks Consumer Reporting Agencies Criminal Background Checks Employee Rights Employment Discrimination Hiring & Firing Job Applicants New Legislation

NYC “Ban the Box” Bill Heads to Mayor’s Desk

On June 10th, by a 45-5 vote, the New York City Council passed a bill (Int. No. 318) to amend the New York City Human Rights Law (“NYCHRL”) to further restrict employers from inquiring into or otherwise considering an...more

6/15/2015 - Background Checks Ban the Box City Councils Conditional Job Offers Criminal Background Checks Employment Application Employment Discrimination Hiring & Firing Job Ads Job Applicants Job Offers New Legislation NYCHRL NYSHRL

Hawaii Supreme Court Says Employer Failed to Establish “Rational Relationship” Between Applicant’s Drug Conviction and Position...

Hawaii, like some other states, only permits employers to consider convictions that bear a “rational relationship to the duties and responsibilities of the position.” Recently, the Hawaii Supreme Court had occasion to decide...more

3/25/2015 - Criminal Background Checks Drug Distribution EEOC Healthcare Professionals Hiring & Firing

Fourth Circuit Affirms Summary Judgment against EEOC in Background Check Suit

Last week, in Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) v. Freeman, No. 13-2365 (4th Cir. Feb. 20, 2105), the Fourth Circuit affirmed the award of summary judgment against the EEOC in its suit alleging that the...more

2/24/2015 - Criminal Background Checks Disparate Impact EEOC Employee Credit Checks Evidence Expert Testimony Hiring & Firing Summary Judgment Title VII

New Minnesota Expungement Law Helps Protect Employers from Liability

A new Minnesota law that took effect on January 1 expands the opportunities for ex-offenders to expunge their criminal records. In an effort to protect employers who hire employees with expunged records, the new law provides...more

1/6/2015 - Ban the Box Conditional Job Offers Criminal Background Checks Employer Liability Issues Expungement Hiring & Firing Job Applicants

Background Checks Headline in 2014

In 2014, background checks were a hot topic in state and local legislatures. Before this year, only 8 jurisdictions in the country had passed laws preventing private employers from asking job candidates about their criminal...more

12/24/2014 - Background Checks Ban the Box Criminal Background Checks EEOC Employee Credit Checks Employer Liability Issues FCRA Hiring & Firing Job Applicants

NYC Council Debates Expansive “Ban the Box” Bill

A couple of months ago, we blogged about the New York City Council’s general support for a proposal that would effectively ban credit checks in hiring and other personnel decisions. As the council continues to debate credit...more

12/15/2014 - Ban the Box Conditional Job Offers Criminal Background Checks Employer Liability Issues Hiring & Firing Job Applicants

Prince George’s County “Bans the Box”

Add another locality to the growing list that have “banned the box” for private employers. Starting January 20, 2015, employers with at least twenty-five full-time employees in Prince George’s County (MD) can no longer ask...more

12/12/2014 - Ban the Box Criminal Background Checks Hiring & Firing Interviews

Columbia, Missouri Joins “Ban the Box” Trend

Columbia, Missouri is the latest jurisdiction to “ban the box” by prohibiting private employers from making criminal inquiries on an employment application. The law, which took effect on December 1, 2014, only allows...more

12/9/2014 - Background Checks Ban the Box Criminal Background Checks Employer Liability Issues Hiring & Firing Job Applicants Local Ordinance

San Francisco Issues Guidance for Employers and Contractors on Fair Chance Ordinance

San Francisco has posted FAQs explaining key provisions of the city’s so-called Fair Chance Ordinance (“Ordinance”), which took effect on August 13, 2014. The Ordinance “bans the box,” prohibiting most private employers and...more

12/9/2014 - Background Checks Ban the Box Criminal Background Checks Federal Contractors Hiring & Firing Job Applicants Local Ordinance San Francisco

FTC Issues Another Guide on Background Checks

As we reported in our prior alert, in March of this year, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) issued a short brochure—Background Checks: What Job Applicants and Employees Should Know—on the use of background checks in hiring...more

11/12/2014 - Background Checks Criminal Background Checks FTC Hiring & Firing Job Applicants

Montgomery County “Bans the Box”

Montgomery County, Maryland is the latest jurisdiction to “ban the box” by prohibiting private employers from making criminal inquiries on the initial employment application....more

11/11/2014 - Ban the Box Criminal Background Checks Employee Rights Job Applicants

Madison, WI Resolution Targets “Ban the Box” Legislation For City Contractors and Vendors

The Common Council of Madison, Wisconsin passed a resolution that prohibits the city (i) from asking questions concerning an applicant’s criminal history on the city’s initial employment applications (i.e., “banning the...more

9/11/2014 - Ban the Box Criminal Background Checks Employer Liability Issues Hiring & Firing Job Applicants Local Ordinance Municipalities

D.C. Mayor Signs "Ban the Box" Law

Mayor Vincent Gray has signed the Fair Criminal Record Screening Act of 2014 to prevent most employers in the District of Columbia from asking prospective employees about their criminal history on the initial job application....more

9/4/2014 - Ban the Box Criminal Background Checks Job Applicants

Latest Criminal Background Check Developments Affect San Francisco, Illinois, and Alabama Employers

Starting on August 13, 2014, employers and contractors in San Francisco may no longer ask applicants about their criminal history until after the first live interview or following a conditional offer of employment. Even when...more

8/11/2014 - Background Checks Ban the Box Contractors Criminal Background Checks Subcontractors

New "Ban the Box" Developments in Baltimore, Rochester, and Minnesota

Criminal background checks and a desire to increase employment opportunities for the formerly incarcerated continue to be a hot topic in state and local legislatures. This month the cities of Baltimore, Maryland and...more

5/28/2014 - Ban the Box Criminal Background Checks Employer Mandates Employment Policies Hiring & Firing

San Francisco Releases "Ban the Box" Notice for Posting and Distribution

San Francisco's new Fair Chance Ordinance ("FCO") "bans the box" and otherwise restricts private employers and City contractors from inquiring into or considering certain criminal offenses when making hiring and personnel...more

3/31/2014 - Background Checks Ban the Box Criminal Background Checks

San Francisco "Bans the Box" for Private Employers and City Contractors

The Mayor of San Francisco recently signed an ordinance that prohibits private employers and city contractors and subcontractors (collectively "contractors") from asking job applicants about their criminal histories until...more

2/24/2014 - Arrest and Conviction Records Ban the Box Criminal Background Checks Employment Application Hiring & Firing Human Resources Professionals Municipalities Publication Requirement Recordkeeping Requirements Recruitment Policies

California Further Restricts Employer Use of Prior Convictions in Hiring Decisions

On October 10, 2013, Governor Jerry Brown approved S.B. 530 to further limit public and private employers from inquiring into or otherwise considering certain types of criminal convictions. The new law takes effect January 1,...more

11/6/2013 - Arrest and Conviction Records Criminal Background Checks Criminal Records Hiring & Firing Prior Conviction

Rhode Island Fourth State To “Ban the Box” for Private Employers

The Governor of Rhode Island recently signed a law to prohibit employers from asking job applicants about their criminal conviction history until the first interview....more

7/22/2013 - Arrest and Conviction Records Criminal Background Checks Employer Mandates Hiring & Firing Job Applicants

Seattle Latest City to "Ban the Box" for Private Employers

On June 20, 2013, the Mayor of Seattle signed an ordinance to "ban the box" and otherwise restrict the use of arrest and conviction records in the hiring and personnel decisions of most private employers and of the City...more

6/27/2013 - Ban the Box Criminal Background Checks Hiring & Firing Job Applicants Local Ordinance Municipalities Penalties

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