Background Checks

News & Analysis as of

Checking In on Background Checks

Background checks are a valuable (and often essential) part of the hiring process. They help employers find good employees and avoid risky hires. Failure to check applicants’ backgrounds can amount to negligence and may...more

District Court Grants Motion To Dismiss Because FCRA Plaintiff Failed To Allege Concrete Injuries

On March 1, 2017, the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota granted a motion to dismiss a lawsuit predicated on alleged violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA” or the “Act”). If a person...more

Ohio State and Federal Courts Find No Standing to Assert Technical Violations of the FCRA’s Background Check Disclosure...

Ohio courts have recently weighed in on a hotly litigated issue related to procurement of background checks on current or prospective employees: do employees have standing to sue employers where the employer fails to provide...more

Inclusion of Liability Waiver in FCRA Disclosures Violates the Act

Action Item: In a recent decision from the Ninth Circuit, which may have broad implications across the country, the Court held that an employer’s inclusion of a liability waiver as part of the Fair Credit Reporting...more

Deep Dive Due Diligence: Part II – Why Level III Due Diligence for Senior Execs?

Today, I continue my exploration of Level III, deep dive due diligence by considering why you need this type of background investigation in the context of the hiring and promotion of senior managers in an organization. I am...more

California Lawmakers Introduce Statewide Ban-the-Box Law

When it comes to legislation restricting employer use of criminal records, California seems to be leading the charge. In the last six months alone, we have reported on a variety of new laws that apply to California employers...more

Employee Reference Releases: Who’s In and Who’s Out?

A recent Indiana defamation case, Manhas v. Franciscan Hammond Clinic, serves as a critical reminder of the importance of scrutinizing physician and employee reference forms and releases. Dr. Sheila Manhas and Franciscan...more

Federal Appeals Court Concludes that Employer Violates Fair Credit Reporting Act by Including Liability Waiver in Mandated...

Employers procuring credit reports for applicants or current employees must navigate exacting disclosure and procedural requirements under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). In a question of first impression in the...more

Ninth Circuit: “Solely” Means “Solely” When It Comes to FCRA-Mandated Disclosures

Does your company conduct applicant background checks? If so, you are no doubt familiar with the disclosure requirements of the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act. Among other things, the FCRA states that employers may not...more

WPI State of the States: Legislatures Saw a Flurry of Activity in February

Statehouses across the country continue to propose legislation at a frenzied pace. In February, as in January, more than 500 bills concerning labor and employment issues were either introduced or addressed in some fashion....more

Employment Background Checks: In a State of Flux, but Still Worth Doing

Background checks have been a tool for employers to use to screen applicants for quite some time.  However, recently there have been many changes and an increase in litigation in the background check arena....more

It's Not Just a Box: Understanding How "Ban-the-Box" Laws Go Beyond Your Employment Application

In 1998, Hawaii became the first state to “ban the box,” prohibiting private employers from inquiring about a candidate’s criminal history until the employer has made a conditional offer. It was not for another 12 years...more

Employers Use of Background Check Reports and Limitations on Use

Are you an employer that conducts pre-employment background checks for new hires, or maybe background checks for existing employees for promotion, reassignment or retention purposes? Ever randomly wonder if you can use that...more

Compliance News Flash

This week’s news flash – a quick overview of timely background screening and immigration-related news that is important to your organization. 1. On February 28 at 3 pm EST Montserrat Miller, a Partner with Arnall Golden...more

New D.C. Law Restricts Employer Use of Credit Histories in Employment Decisions

On February 15, 2017, Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser signed into law the District of Columbia’s Fair Credit in Employment Amendment Act of 2016 (FCEAA). This Act, which amends the District’s Human Rights Act of 1977,...more

Albany County Enacts Legislation Prohibiting Inquiries into Criminal Convictions for County Employment

Following a national trend to “ban the box” on job applications, on February 13, 2017, the Albany County Legislature passed legislation prohibiting Albany County from inquiring about an applicant’s criminal conviction history...more

A Host of Biometric Privacy/Facial Recognition Bills Currently Circulating in State Legislatures

We’ve written extensively about the numerous lawsuits, dismissals and settlements surrounding the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA). The statute, generally speaking, prohibits an entity from collecting,...more

Bare Statutory Violation of FCRA Fails to Satisfy Standing Requirements Post-Spokeo, Says District of New Jersey in Suit Over...

Michaels escaped a potential class action alleging Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”) violations late last month when a federal judge found the United States Supreme Court’s recent decision in Spokeo, Inc. v. Robbins, 136 S....more

Pre-Employment Background Screening 101 – Mitigate Your Risk

A series of recent class action complaints against employers leads me to write about what employers can do to mitigate risk with respect to their background screening program. I’m talking about pre-employment background...more

New FCRA Class Action Against UPS Shows Traditional FCRA Claims Alive and Well

The federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) has created a flurry of class action complaints in recent years aimed at employers who fail to comply with the FCRA’s hyper-technical disclosure and consent requirements. However,...more

Ask the TPA about their administrators’ training

If I want to get a new doctor or an attorney, I certainly want to know their background. Same with a financial advisor, I don’t want the next Bernie Madoff. When you hire a professional, you want to know their credentials....more

Hiring and Firing in Los Angeles: Fair Chance Initiative Update

We told you about Los Angeles’ Ban the Box ordinance in early December. Also known as the Fair Chance Initiative for Hiring Ordinance (FCIHO), the new regulation seeks to reduce recidivism by limiting inquiries regarding...more

Compliance News Flash

This week’s news flash – a quick overview of timely background screening and immigration-related news that is important to your organization. 1. Expect activity at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in...more

Courts to Employers: Get Your Background Searches in Order

Over the last few years, employers are facing a new type of class action claim – improper disclosure and authorization for background searches during the hiring process. Some courts have found violations are "willful,"...more

Nothing Crafty About Michaels’ Disclosure Under Spokeo

A New Jersey District Court followed Spokeo’s Article III standing analysis and dismissed claims by three putative class representatives against Michaels Stores. Plaintiffs claimed that Michaels’ online employment application...more

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