News & Analysis as of

New State Act Increases Background Check Requirements for School Employees and Volunteers

In the flurry of activity before the end of the legislative session in October, the Pennsylvania Legislature passed and Governor Thomas Corbett signed into law Act 153 of 2014, that amended the state Child Protective Services...more

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

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

Understanding "Ban the Box" Laws

“Ban the Box” is a national civil-rights movement backed by advocates for job applicants with criminal convictions. Proponents of these laws believe that expanding employment opportunities for individuals with criminal...more

Four New Laws Within 40 Miles: The Washington, DC Area Accelerates the "Ban-the-Box" Movement

The Washington, DC area has become the leading edge of the "ban-the-box" movement, with four new ban-the-box laws applicable to private employers enacted in the past six months. Baltimore, Maryland, started the trend when...more

‘Tis the (Retail) Season, Part III: Five Tips for Hiring Seasonal Workers

It’s that time of year once again! Retailers are gearing up for the holidays and hiring seasonal workers in droves. Unfortunately, the flurry of activity and the common misperception that seasonal workers have a different...more

Caught Between Laws: Challenges for Health Care Providers in Using Criminal History Information in Employment Decisions

In an effort to increase protection for vulnerable patient populations, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) creates incentives for states to strengthen the employment background check programs available to long-term care providers....more

‘Tis the (Retail) Season, Part II: Conducting Background Checks on Seasonal Workers

During the upcoming holiday season, many companies—especially those with retail operations—will be looking to expand their available workforce by hiring seasonal workers. Unfortunately, many of these temporary workers will be...more

More Focus on Employer Background Checks

The focus on employment background checks is not going away. A few weeks ago I wrote about Dollar General’s $4 million dollar settlement of a class action lawsuit based on alleged violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act...more

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

Publix to Pay $6.8 Million for Alleged FCRA Violations

Publix Super Markets Inc. has agreed to pay $6.8 million to settle a class-action lawsuit over the supermarket chain’s background check procedures. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), employers must provide prior...more

The Old (Law) is New Again: Plaintiffs Increasingly Using Old Pennsylvania Law to Challenge Background Check Decisions

In a climate of increased national scrutiny regarding employer use of criminal background screening, plaintiffs are turning to a provision in the Pennsylvania Criminal History Record Information Act (CHRIA), 18 Pa.C.S. §...more

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

FCRA Preempts Tortious Interference Claim, Says NJ Court

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)—a federal law that regulates the collection and use of “consumer information”—covers employers who solicit third-party vendors known as consumer reporting agencies (CRAs) to run background...more

Gavel to Gavel: A tiger by the tail

Back in school, I recall reading the short story The Lady or the Tiger? It’s about a woman made to choose between two fates for her would-be husband, neither of which was particularly pleasant. What she would choose is left...more

Background Screening Company Adopts Revised Procedures in Cooperation with EEOC

DALLAS -- The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and The Cole Group have reached an agreement reflecting the job applicant screening company's implementation of revised policies and practices to ensure that...more

Thumbs Up/ Thumbs Down, Still FCRA

Does your business use a contractor to provide in-home services to your customers? If so, you probably want the contractor to conduct background checks on its employees. You want the contractor to screen out people who pose...more

Labor & Employment E - Note - September 2014

In This Issue: - More Workers Are Claiming 'Wage Theft' - Big Companies, States Urge High Court to Rule on Gay Marriage - Firms Continue to Increase Background Checks on Job Candidates - Obama...more

Private Sector Employers in the District of Columbia Will Soon Be Required to Comply with a New Law Restricting Their Ability to...

On August 22, 2014, the District of Columbia Mayor signed a new law restricting most employers that operate in the District of Columbia in their ability to rely on criminal history information, including criminal background...more

New Jersey’s “Ban the Box” Legislation Signed Into Law

Last week, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed the Opportunity to Compete Act (Bill S2124) into law, thereby barring New Jersey employers from inquiring about job applicants’ criminal histories during the preliminary...more

Update: New Jersey Limits Use of Criminal History in Hiring Decisions

As we reported in December 2013, New Jersey was on the road to joining 6 other states which have recently passed legislation banning or limiting the use of criminal background checks in the hiring process. ...more

Check This [Box] Out: Ban the Box Legislation Continues to Gain Momentum

An increasing number of cities, counties and states have passed laws restricting employers from inquiring about a job applicant’s criminal background, giving momentum to the “ban the box” movement. The term “ban the box”...more

Background Check Questions: Illinois Joins Ban-the-Box States; New Jersey May Be Next

Criminal background questions on employment applications will no longer be permitted in Illinois, effective January 1, 2015. On July 19, Governor Quinn signed the Job Opportunities for Qualified Applicants Act, making...more

"Ban the Box" in San Francisco: Posting, Reporting and Inquiry Rules for Applicants' and Employees' Criminal Histories Take Effect...

Many employers ask job applicants to check a "box" on a job application to disclose criminal history information. As of August 13, 2014, San Francisco will "ban the box" for private and public employers. The City's Board of...more

Employers Should Assess Background Checking Procedures to Avoid Running Afoul of the Fair Credit Reporting Act

There has been a recent uptick in class action litigation initiated by job applicants claiming that employers violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act (the FCRA) in the manner they procured and used consumer reports about the...more

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