News & Analysis as of

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

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 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

"'Ban the Box' Initiatives: Removing Conviction Histories From Employment Applications"

The use of criminal records in the hiring process has received a great deal of attention in recent years. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued guidance in 2012 requiring employers to demonstrate that conviction...more

Retailers Beware: Background Checks Continue To Be Subjected To Scrutiny and Class Action Litigation

Retailers are getting hit with a tsunami of class action litigation alleging violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”), Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) guidelines, and related state laws. ...more

Trouble in the Magic Kingdom: Disney Finds Itself the Villain in This Fairytale

Disney is known for its fairytales and happy endings. Usually its adorable characters and feel-good plots earn it wide acclaim. But recently, a California judge agreed with the plaintiff, in Roger L. Culberson II v. The Walt...more

Plaintiffs' Class Action Claims Target Background Checks

Earlier this week, the arts and crafts retailer Michael’s Stores, Inc. received notice of a new class action lawsuit challenging its use of applicant background checks. The lawsuit alleges that the retailer failed to provide...more

Ten New Year’s Resolutions Retail Employers Should Consider Making in 2015

Now that the busy 2014 holiday shopping season is over and the new year has begun, it’s a good time for retail employers to take a breath and think about 2015—what’s coming, what issues they should be watching, and what...more

15 For ’15: Employment And Labor Resolutions For The New Year

While the year is still young, here are 15 New Year’s resolutions that employers may want to make: 1. Make sure your “independent contractors” are really independent contractors. ”Independent contractors” are under...more

New Year: Resolve, Review, Revise

The new year is a time for reflection. With that reflection often comes a resolve for change, from small modifications of some old habits to wholesale new beginnings and everything in between. From a business perspective,...more

Trends in New Jersey Employment Law - December 2014

2014 Year in Review—the Top 10 Trends in New Jersey Employment Law - 2014 was another busy year for developments in New Jersey employment law. This newsletter examines noteworthy developments in ten key...more

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

Watch Your Back: The Growing Threat of FCRA Background Check Class Actions

Class action suits against employers alleging a violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act when using background checks performed by a credit reporting agency have more than tripled in 2014, with new cases continuing to be...more

Beware of Stock Vendor Background Check Forms

If you are like many employers, you use an online job application or are considering switching to an online process. Online applications have many benefits, and there are numerous vendors prepared to help you set up an online...more

UBER: Is it Safe?

Uber hires “independent contractors” to serve as drivers, while it’s software (in particular, it’s cell phone apps) serves as the dispatch center and handles payment. It is an innovative use of technology, and it has been...more

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