Background Checks Job Applicants

News & Analysis as of

Philadelphia Becomes the First Jurisdiction in 2016 to Restrict Employers from Using Credit Information in Employment Decisions

On June 7, 2016, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney signed a bill to make it unlawful, with limited exceptions, for employers to procure or use an applicant’s or employee’s credit history for employment purposes. Philadelphia...more

Connecticut Becomes the Third Jurisdiction in 2016 to "Ban the Box"

On June 1, 2016, Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy signed a bill into law that prohibits most employers from requesting criminal history information on an initial employment application. Connecticut’s new “ban-the-box” law...more

Supreme Court’s Spokeo Decision Strengthens Standing Defense For Employers In FCRA And Other Statutory Class Actions

In an important victory for employers, the Supreme Court in Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins held that a plaintiff does not have Article III standing to sue in federal court under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and other federal...more

Trends In the “Ban the Box” Movement: Recent Developments In City Ordinances

Seyfarth Synopsis: As cities across the nation adopt “ban the box” legislation that regulates private employers’ ability to inquire into applicants’ and employees’ criminal histories, employers face a nuanced gauntlet of...more

Target's Successful Defense To A FCRA Class Action Is Good News For Employers

Target requires job applicants to sign a “Consent & Disclosure” form advising the applicant that Target will obtain an employment background report. The form discloses that a consumer report or investigative consumer report...more

New Guidance Issued on FCRA Compliance in Employee Screening

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has issued new guidance to help background screening companies comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) when conducting background checks on current or prospective employees. The new...more

FTC Publication for Background Screeners

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) just issued guidance for companies providing employment screening services. According to the FTC, they have “created new guidance for businesses aimed at giving employment background...more

Vermont Joins the Ranks of Cities and States that "Ban the Box"

On May 3, 2016, Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin signed a bill into law that prohibits most employers from requesting criminal history information on an employment application. The law adds a new section to the state statutory...more

Congress Considers Changes to FCRA to Expand Consumer Credit Files and Limit Use of Credit Reports for Employment Decisions

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) regulates consumer reporting agencies (CRAs) and the use of consumer reports. The FCRA’s stated purpose includes requiring CRAs to adopt reasonable procedures for meeting the needs of...more

Wisconsin Employers Targeted for Technical Violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act

Within the past year, one Wisconsin resident has filed several class-action lawsuits against Wisconsin employers. In each case, the resident claimed that the targeted employers were using improper disclosures in employment...more

What Employers Need to Know About "Ban the Box"

“Ban the Box” or “Fair-Chance Hiring” describes a recent movement that advocates removing the check box appearing on many job applications asking applicants whether they have criminal histories. Ban-the-box advocates say that...more

Spring Cleaning – Check Your Background Disclosure Form For FCRA Violations

In a trend that shows no signs of slowing down, lawsuits continue to be filed against employers for violating the Fair Credit Reporting Act’s (“FCRA”) strict requirements concerning background check disclosure forms. If the...more

Employers: Criminal History Inquiries May Get Tricky

Last week the California Fair Employment and Housing Council of the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (or, in short, the Council) announced its proposed amendment to the California Code of Regulations, aiming to...more

Employers: Check the law before checking an applicant's background

A new hire is always a risk. There is concern that a new employee may not be a good fit or as qualified for the job as expected. Worse, the new hire could be a significant safety or liability risk. A poor hiring decision can...more

CFPB’s Message to Employment Background Screening Providers: A Rose by Any Other Middle Name is Probably the Wrong Person

On October 29, the CFPB took action against two of the country’s largest employment background screening report providers for violations of the FCRA. This is one of the CFPB’s most significant FCRA actions to date, following...more

Proposed Federal “Ban the Box” Legislation Receives Bipartisan Support

On September 10, 2015, the Fair Chance Act (the “Act”) was introduced by a bipartisan group of legislators from both houses of Congress. The Act would prohibit federal contractors and agencies from inquiring into an...more

The Fair Credit Reporting Act: Misnamed but Mischievous

While its name might indicate that it is aimed at credit checks, the Fair Credit Reporting Act also regulates employer background checks. Indeed, the FCRA contains a number of potential traps for employers that a new wave of...more

Now That New York City’s Credit Check and “Ban the Box” Laws Are in Effect, How Do Employers Comply?

Two important New York City laws impacting the hiring process have recently taken effect, requiring immediate action by most City employers. The Fair Chance Act, New York City’s “ban the box” law (“Ban-the-Box Law”),...more

Employment Law - October 2015 #3

New California Employment Laws on Fair Pay, Waiver of Meal Periods - Why it matters: California continues its focus on employment-related legislation. Touted as the toughest law of its kind in the nation, Senate...more

Effective Immediately, The New York City Fair Chance Act Substantially Restricts Employers’ Use of Criminal Background Checks

The New York City Fair Chance Act (FCA) goes into effect today, October 27, and applies to any employers in New York City with four or more employees. The FCA amends the New York City Human Rights Law and significantly limits...more

New York City Issues Fair Chance Act Notice Form for Criminal Background Checks

As we previously reported in July and June, New York City recently passed the Fair Chance Act (FCA), which becomes effective on Tuesday, October 27, 2015, and is applicable to criminal background checks. Among other...more

Reminder for NYC Employers: Ban on Criminal Background Checks Takes Effect October 27, 2015

Less than two months after the effective date of a new law barring employers’ use of credit checks, another new law restricting the pre-employment process takes effect in New York City today, October 27, 2015 (the Fair Chance...more

Best Practices for Complying with the New York City Fair Chance Act

Given the imminent effective date of New York City’s Fair Chance Act, employers may be wondering what they need to do to comply with the law. As many employers are aware, effective October 27, 2015, the Fair Chance Act...more

Fenwick Employment Brief

Legislative Update - Governor Brown recently signed into state law the following employment law bills (among others): SB 358—Referred to as the California Fair Pay Act, this law is directed at closing the pay...more

Background Screening – When is Section 603(y) Applicable?

When a company uses commercial background checks to evaluate the suitability of job applicants, they must comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), which regulates the collection, dissemination, and use of consumer...more

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