Background Checks Job Applicants

News & Analysis as of

Claims Dismissed: Social Media Site's Reference Search Not a Background Check

Good news for employers using social media to vet job applicants: A Federal District Court recently ruled the technology used in LinkedIn's Reference Search does not constitute a “consumer background check” of employees and...more

When is a Background Search not a Background Search?

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) was enacted to insure that consumer reporting agencies act with “fairness, impartiality, and respect for the consumer’s right to privacy.” But one federal court held recently that...more

Employers Beware: You Cannot Always Trust Third-Party Provided Background Check Disclosure Forms

Does your company run background checks on its employees? Do you pay a third-party to run the reports and trust them to get it right? You may not be as safe as you think you are. Just ask Whole Foods, Paramount...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

“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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Opportunity to Compete Act “Bans the Box” in New Jersey

On August 11, 2014, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed into law the “Opportunity to Compete Act.” Commonly referred to as a “Ban the Box” law, it will prohibit employers from inquiring about an applicant’s criminal...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

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