Background Checks

News & Analysis as of

Effective July 1, 2014: New Tennessee Laws

New Tennessee laws took effect on July 1, 2014, including changes to the workers' compensation system, caps on damages in suits under the State's statutory employment discrimination laws, and protections for employers hiring...more

Background Check Lawsuits: If It’s Not One Thing, It’s Another

As we previously have written, employer use of criminal records and background checks with respect to applicants and employees has been the subject of challenge on the grounds that such checks tend to discriminate against...more

Criminal Background Discrimination Dragnet Ensnares Government Employer

Last week a New York federal court certified a class of approximately 250,000 African-American job applicants in a race discrimination case against the U.S. Census Bureau. The plaintiffs allege that they were unlawfully...more

July 1 Brings New Law Banning Felony Question on Public Job Applications

An important reminder that on July 1, 2014, Section 432.9 of the Labor Code came into effect. California Labor Code Section 432.9 bans government employers from asking job applicants about their criminal record until later in...more

U.S. Census Bureau Down for the Count after Certification Ruling in Criminal Background Check Case

Last Tuesday, a Magistrate Judge in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York granted partial class certification in a case where plaintiffs allege that the United States Census Bureau used arrest...more

50 For 50: Five Decades Of The Most Important Employment Discrimination Decisions - Number 49: EEOC Takes On Background Checks

Throughout this series, we have touched on facially neutral policies which, although not motivated by unlawful discrimination, have a discriminatory effect on certain protected classes. For over 40 years, the courts have...more

New Jersey Senate Bill Aimed at Protecting Job Applicants With Criminal History

Earlier this month, the New Jersey State Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee advanced a bill seeking to bar employers from inquiring about the criminal history of job applicants during initial interviews and on job...more

New EEOC Guidelines Regarding Employers’ Obligations With Respect to Background Checks and Accommodation of Religious Dress and...

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) recently announced new guidelines that may impact the way employers conduct background checks and accommodate religious dress and grooming practices....more

Employment Law - June 2014 #3

Employers Win, Lose in Latest California Supreme Court Opinion on Arbitration - Why it matters: The California Supreme Court continued its complicated relationship with employment agreements and arbitration on June 23...more

EEOC Background Check Guidance Under Fire - House Subcommittee on Workforce Protections Hears Testimony on Controversial Rules

On June 10, the House Subcommittee on Workforce Protections heard testimony regarding the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) controversial background check guidance. Comments focused on the difficulties faced by...more

Health Care E-Note - June 19, 2014

In This Issue: - Report Ranks U.S. Last Out of 11 in Health Care System Quality - Analysis Identifies Un-Tracked Avoidable Hospital Complications - Number of Doctors Employed by Hospitals Grew 34% Over 10...more

Illinois Enacting Criminal Background Screening Bill

Illinois is on the verge of enacting a law that will prohibit criminal background screening and inquiries, including criminal conviction inquiries of the applicant, until the applicant is selected for an interview or unless a...more

General Assembly Approves New Laws for Illinois Employers

As the legislative session drew to a close at the end of May, the Illinois General Assembly approved several new laws that will affect Illinois employers beginning January 1, 2015. The laws are now awaiting approval by...more

The City of Rochester Adopts a “Ban the Box” Ordinance

The City of Rochester recently unanimously enacted a “Ban the Box” ordinance, which prohibits employers from asking applicants about criminal convictions at any time before the employer has conducted an initial employment...more

Rochester, New York Joins The "Ban-the-Box Movement"

On May 22, 2014, the City of Rochester became the second city in New York to “ban the box,” by adopting legislation restricting the timing of pre-employment inquiries by most Rochester public and private employers into a...more

Rogue CFO III – Background Checks

Perform Background Checks. It seems obvious. Why would a company not want as much information about a candidate for its CFO position that it can legally obtain? But this oversight is common. Too many smaller companies hire...more

The Risks of Pre-employment Social Media Screening

An increasing number of states have recently passed laws that prohibit employers from obtaining passwords to a job applicant’s social media accounts. Such legislation highlights companies’ interest in finding out as much as...more

Employment Background Checks: Tips Employers Should Know to Comply With Federal Laws

Many employers rely on background checks to screen job applicants and employees when making important personnel decisions, including hiring, retention, and promotion. In March, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission...more

Immigration Corner: Travel History with the Click of a Button; A Quick-Reference Guide for I-9; Hiring Decisions Impacting F-1...

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced a new webpage on May 1 that gives travelers access to the date and port of entry of all arrivals and departures for the last five years. Travel history includes entries made with...more

The Employer Conundrum Over Conducting Criminal Background Screens

The war continues over the use of criminal background checks in the hiring process and employers are caught in the middle. A brief history here may be helpful....more

Social Media - The Double-Edged Sword For Screening Job Applicants

It’s become second-nature to “Google” people to whom you’ve been introduced or are planning to meet. For many employers, it’s just as easy to engage in the same process with those applying for employment. When an...more

FINRA Finalizes Mandatory Background Check Rule

On April 24, 2014, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) announced that its board of governors had approved rules requiring that firms to run background checks on new hires, whether new brokers or transfers, to...more

New Delaware Law “Encourages” State Vendors to “Ban the Box”

Delaware’s Governor recently signed a “ban the box” law to prohibit public employers from inquiring into or considering the credit or criminal history of a job candidate during the initial application process (up to and...more

Baltimore Businesses: Ban the Box or Jump in Jail!

Employers employing 10 or more full-time equivalent employees in the City of Baltimore beware: if you use criminal conviction information before making a conditional offer of employment, you risk criminal penalties under...more

Fingerprinting Policy Implementation - Risk to Enrollment Status?

In March 2011, when CMS published regulations to implement the Medicare enrollment screening provisions of the Affordable Care Act, the requirement for background fingerprint screening was put on hold. In a recent Special...more

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