Background Checks

News & Analysis as of

New York City Expected to Ban the Use of Credit Checks in Employment

On April 16, 2015, the New York City Council passed an amendment (“Amendment”) to the New York City Human Rights Law (“NYCHRL”) that, if signed into law, would make it an unlawful discriminatory practice for employers to use...more

From Hiring To Firing: A Basic Guide To The Singapore Employment Law Life Cycle

In Singapore, we are restricted for regulatory reasons (as are most international/foreign registered law firms) from practising local law. This means that if a matter needs advice on any Singapore law issues we will arrange...more

Credit Checks To Be Banned in NYC

On April 16, 2015, by a 47-3 vote, the New York City Council passed a bill (Int. 0261-2014) to amend the NYC Human Rights Law to prohibit most employers from inquiring into or considering a prospective or current employee’s...more

Worth Another Look: Child Abuse Clearance Update

Are you compliant with the new Pennsylvania criminal background clearance requirements? As of December 31, 2014, employers must obtain certain background clearances—including a FBI fingerprint clearance—on all individuals...more

EEOC and Private Plaintiffs Continue Aggressive Litigation Attacking Background Checks

As part of its focus on eliminating barriers to hiring, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) continues to mount an aggressive litigation strategy targeting background-check policies that it believes have a...more

Background Check Suits: Whole Foods Class Action to Continue

In a previous blog I discussed the multiple class actions that are pending and which address the issue of the Fair Credit Reporting Act requirements in connection with on-line employment applications....more

FINRA Issues Notice on Background Checks for Registration Applicants

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) released Regulatory Notice 15-05 to remind member firms of the new consolidated rules on mandatory background checks for individual registration. As first reported in the...more

Employment Law - March 2015 #2

California Legislation to Consider: Protections for Unpaid Interns and Volunteers - Why it matters: In this issue of the newsletter, the focus of our review of new California laws shifts from leaves of absence...more

2015 Employment Law Issues Tournament: First Round Results and Recaps

This past weekend, while college basketball teams across America finished up their conference tournaments, 64 employment law issues played in the first round of our tournament, and boy did it live up to the hype. Filled with...more

Employers: What You Need to Know if You Conduct Background Checks - Despite its name the FCRA does not just apply to credit...

Your decision to hire a new employee or promote an existing one may depend on the findings of a background check. Did you know that you need to comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (the “FCRA”) if you perform background...more

You Should Know - March 2015

In This Issue: - Too Pretty, Too Bad - Employee Rights - Employment Quiz - Excerpt from Employee Rights: Know Your Employment Rights: Discrimination, Harassment and the At-Will Employee Should a...more

The EEOC Experiences yet Another Background Check Court Loss

As we previously reported, the EEOC’s targeting of employer background checks has been controversial and continues to fizzle in the courts. Recently, in EEOC v. Freeman, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit...more

EEOC Background Check Litigation Strategy Criticized

Readers who have been following the EEOC’s efforts to prosecute employers who conduct background checks will be interested in the Wall Street Journal’s editorial, “Hit Us Again, Harder.” ...more

Fourth Circuit Finds EEOC's Expert Report Unreliable Under Federal Rules of Evidence

As part of an employer's business in providing integrated services for high level events, it commenced background checks of all prospective employees, including credit checks for positions dealing with "credit sensitive"...more

Investment Management Legal + Regulatory Update - February 2015

In This Issue: - SEC Proposes Rule Requiring Hedging Disclosure - SEC Reports the Result of its Cybersecurity Sweep of Broker-Dealers and Investment Advisers - House Passes Bill to Ease Volcker Rule and Other...more

Fourth Circuit Slaps EEOC for Use of Misleading, Incomplete and Error-Riddled Expert Testimony

Several years ago, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission set discriminatory use of criminal and financial background checks as a top enforcement priority. These cases are brought under the disparate impact theory,...more

“Ban-the-Box” Legislation Limits Inquiries About Criminal Background Checks

A growing number of state and local jurisdictions are enacting “ban-the-box” legislation that limits an employer’s ability to ask about criminal convictions on employment applications. Some jurisdictions are imposing stiff...more

“Lies, D*mned Lies, and Statistics”: Fourth Circuit Affirms Summary Judgment Against EEOC on Background Check Lawsuit Based Upon...

On February 20, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit affirmed a Maryland federal district court’s entry of summary judgment against the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) with respect to...more

Federal Appellate Court Throws Out EEOC Discrimination Complaint After Expert Accused of “Cherry-Picking” Data

Last week, the Federal Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit upheld a district court’s decision granting summary judgment to an employer accused by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) of racial bias in its...more

EEOC Loses Another Background Check Case

The EEOC has taken a lot of heat on its controversial stance of aggressively litigating adverse impact cases involving background checks.  In April, 2012, the EEOC issued a new enforcement guidance seeking to curtail the uses...more

Update on Criminal Background Checks: Impact of EEOC v. Freeman and Ongoing Challenges in a Continuously Changing Legal...

The latest chapter in the ongoing saga of employment-related criminal background checks in the United States has been written, and one of the authors had some particularly strong words for the Equal Employment Opportunity...more

Best Practices in Social Media for Employers

As the use and reach of social media continues to increase and evolve, employers should be aware of the latest risks and issues to consider during the recruiting and hiring process. The results of an August 2014...more

Employers Running Background Checks: Top 10 Tips to Avoid Joining the Fair Credit Reporting Act Litigation “Club”

What do Whole Foods, Chuck E. Cheese, Michael’s Stores, Dollar General, Panera, Publix, and K-Mart have in common? Each of these companies has faced lawsuits (including class actions) under the Fair Credit Reporting Act...more

Class Action Trends in Virginia: Employment Background Reports

Forty percent of the consumer class actions filed in Virginia in 2014 alleging violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”) relate to background reports for employment purposes. With one exception, all of the cases...more

Background Checks Increasingly Leading to Litigation

Background checks are increasingly leading to class action lawsuits alleging violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act ("FCRA"). Many employers utilize background checks that include "consumer reports" during the hiring...more

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