Katharine Parker

Katharine Parker

Proskauer Rose LLP

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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

Rochester Issues FAQs on Newly Effective “Ban the Box” Ordinance

Rochester recently posted FAQs highlighting key provisions of the city’s “ban the box” ordinance, which takes effect today. The new law prohibits employers from inquiring into an applicant’s criminal conviction history until...more

11/18/2014 - Ban the Box Employer Liability Issues Hiring & Firing Job Applicants New Legislation

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

Marijuana Users in Michigan Eligible for Unemployment

Medicinal marijuana users in Michigan who are lawfully terminated by their employer for failing a drug test are, according to the Michigan Court of Appeals, entitled to receive unemployment benefits....more

10/30/2014 - Drug Testing Employer Liability Issues Hiring & Firing Medical Marijuana Termination Unemployment Benefits Unemployment Insurance

Connecticut Broadens Exemptions to Law Limiting Credit Checks

Connecticut has added mortgage brokers, lenders, and servicing companies to the list of “financial institutions” exempted under the state’s existing law limiting credit checks for purposes of employment. The amendment, which...more

10/28/2014 - Background Checks Brokers Consumer Lenders Credit Checks Exemptions Financial Institutions Hiring & Firing Job Applicants Loan Servicer Mortgage Brokers Mortgage Servicers

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

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

New Georgia Law Helps Protect Employers from Negligent Hiring and Retention Claims

On April 13, 2014, Georgia's governor signed SB 365 to, in part, protect employers that hire and retain employees with criminal convictions. Under the new law, if the Department of Corrections issues a "Program and Treatment...more

4/17/2014 - Criminal Records Department of Corrections Employee Retention Hiring & Firing Negligent Hiring

Wisconsin Latest State to Provide Social Media Protections to Applicants and Employees

On April 8, 2014, Governor Scott Walker signed Wisconsin Act 208 to prohibit employers from requiring or requesting that prospective and current employees disclose usernames and passwords for their personal Internet accounts....more

4/15/2014 - Employee Rights Employer Liability Issues Hiring & Firing Internet Privacy Passwords User Names

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

New York City Issues New Pregnancy & Employment Rights Notice in English, Foreign Language Versions to Follow

Earlier this month, Proskauer issued a client alert on the latest amendment to the New York City Human Rights Law, which expands the protections against discrimination for pregnant employees. For more on the new law, see our...more

11/1/2013 - Discrimination Hiring & Firing Notice Requirements NYCHRL Pregnancy Discrimination Reasonable Accommodation

What's the One Thing Missing from Most Employee Handbooks?

In your experience, what's the one thing most employers overlook when putting together an employee handbook? The answer to that question depends on whom you ask - and, for a legal perspective, we put it to leading employment...more

10/16/2013 - Confidentiality Disability Employee Handbooks FMLA Hiring & Firing Legal Perspectives Non-Solicitation Agreements Reasonable Accommodation Religion Social Media Policy Termination

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

Employers Cannot Access Applicant or Employee Personal Social Media Accounts, Says Nevada

On June 13, 2013, Nevada's governor signed A.B. 181 to restrict employer access to applicants' and employees' personal password-protected social media accounts, adding to the state's existing anti-discrimination statute that...more

6/27/2013 - Credit Reports Hiring & Firing Job Applicants New Legislation Passwords Social Media

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

New Texas Law Protects Employers from Negligent Hiring and Supervision Claims

On June 14, 2013, the governor of Texas signed HB 1188 to limit liability for negligent hiring and supervision of employees with criminal convictions....more

6/21/2013 - Criminal Records Hiring & Firing Negligent Hiring Negligent Supervision New Legislation

Indiana and North Carolina Limit Employer Inquiries into Criminal Records

A new Indiana law takes effect on July 1, 2013 to prohibit employers from asking about (or otherwise considering) expunged or sealed arrests and convictions. Similarly, a new North Carolina law takes effect December 1, 2013...more

6/17/2013 - Criminal Background Checks Hiring & Firing Job Applicants Sealed Records

Buffalo's "Ban the Box" Ordinance Covers Private Employers

On June 10, 2013, a new ordinance took effect in the City of Buffalo prohibiting public and private employers and City vendors from asking prospective employees about their criminal conviction history during the application...more

6/14/2013 - Ban the Box Criminal Background Checks Hiring & Firing Job Applicants Local Ordinance Municipalities Penalties

Nevada Tenth State To Restrict Employer Use of Credit Checks

On May 23, 2013, Nevada's governor signed S.B. 127 to limit employer use of an applicant's or employee's credit history in hiring and personnel decisions....more

6/6/2013 - Background Checks Credit Reports EEOC Employer Liability Issues Hiring & Firing New Legislation Remedies

Minnesota Joins a Handful of Other States and Cities to "Ban the Box" for Private Employment

On May 13, 2013, Minnesota's governor signed S.F. 523 to preclude private employers from asking job applicants about their criminal history on the initial job application and from making such inquiries until the applicant has...more

5/21/2013 - Background Checks Hiring & Firing Job Applicants

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