News & Analysis as of

Effective July 1, 2014: New Tennessee Laws

New Tennessee laws took effect on July 1, 2014, including changes to the workers' compensation system, caps on damages in suits under the State's statutory employment discrimination laws, and protections for employers hiring...more

Background Check Lawsuits: If It’s Not One Thing, It’s Another

As we previously have written, employer use of criminal records and background checks with respect to applicants and employees has been the subject of challenge on the grounds that such checks tend to discriminate against...more

Criminal Background Discrimination Dragnet Ensnares Government Employer

Last week a New York federal court certified a class of approximately 250,000 African-American job applicants in a race discrimination case against the U.S. Census Bureau. The plaintiffs allege that they were unlawfully...more

U.S. Census Bureau Down for the Count after Certification Ruling in Criminal Background Check Case

Last Tuesday, a Magistrate Judge in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York granted partial class certification in a case where plaintiffs allege that the United States Census Bureau used arrest...more

50 For 50: Five Decades Of The Most Important Employment Discrimination Decisions - Number 49: EEOC Takes On Background Checks

Throughout this series, we have touched on facially neutral policies which, although not motivated by unlawful discrimination, have a discriminatory effect on certain protected classes. For over 40 years, the courts have...more

General Assembly Approves New Laws for Illinois Employers

As the legislative session drew to a close at the end of May, the Illinois General Assembly approved several new laws that will affect Illinois employers beginning January 1, 2015. The laws are now awaiting approval by...more

EEOC Releases New Guidance on Religious Rights and Criminal Background Checks in the Workplace

In early March, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released guidance clarifying employer responsibilities in the areas of accommodating religious beliefs and utilizing background checks. ...more

Don’t Be “Convicted” Of Discriminating Based On Criminal Convictions

Picture it: you have the perfect person to hire. You run the background check, and discover a criminal conviction. You are inclined to withdraw the offer, but suddenly you are faced with the question: can I do it? ...more

Top New Jersey Legal Developments - January 2014

2013 was a busy year for employment law in New Jersey. This newsletter summarizes noteworthy developments in ten key areas—social media, the Law Against Discrimination ("LAD"), whistleblowing, background checks, drug and...more

Ringing in the New Year: A Summary of New California Employment Laws for 2014

California’s 2012-2013 Legislative Session concluded with the enactment of a variety of new laws that will affect California employers. In light of these developments, summarized below, California employers should review...more

Hiring And Retaining Individuals With Criminal Histories

According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, taking employment action based on an individual’s criminal history can amount to discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII),...more

Wanted: Applicants With A Criminal History And An Unprofessional Hairstyle

A combination of recent enforcement efforts by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and state-level legislators has employers scratching their heads about what they can and cannot consider when making hiring...more

2013 Legislative Developments - Reference Guide

In this Reference Guide: - Wage/Hour Legislation - Prevailing Wage Legislation - Anti-Retaliation Legislation - Employee Leave Legislation - Discrimination/Harassment Legislation -...more

Texas Challenges EEOC's Regulation On The Use Of Criminal Background Checks In The Employment Application Process

On November 4, 2013, the State of Texas filed a lawsuit against the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) regarding the agency's April 2012 guidance on the use of criminal background checks in the employment...more

EEOC Strikes Out In Criminal Background And Credit Check Litigation

The EEOC has been aggressively pursuing litigation against private businesses for alleged violations of Title VII based upon the use of criminal background and credit checks in the hiring process. The theory pursued by the...more

New California Laws Restrict the Discretion Employers Have to Inquire Into and Use Criminal Record Information

On October 10, 2013, California joined the growing list of states with expanded protections for individuals with prior criminal records when Governor Jerry Brown approved a bill (SB 530) amending the California Labor Code.1 ...more

EEOC Ordered To Pay Attorney’s Fees and Costs After Bogus Discrimination Case

The Sixth Circuit has ordered the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) to pay more than $750,000 in attorney’s fees and costs for pursuing a frivolous employment discrimination case....more

Sixth Circuit Approves Fee Award Against the EEOC for Meritless Criminal Record Action

A divided Sixth Circuit panel affirmed the district court decision in EEOC v. Peoplemark, Inc., (Case No. 11-2582) assessing fees and costs against the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) totaling $751,942.48 for...more

What You Should Know: EEOC Clarifies Use of Background Checks

In order to avoid potential litigation, employers who rely on criminal background checks to screen out undesirable applicants should make sure they are tailored to the requirements of the job being filled, the chairwoman of...more

Employment Law -- Sep 12, 2013

Federal Agencies Respond to Supreme Court’s DOMA Ruling - In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to strike down part of the Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”), federal agencies are starting to respond with new...more

“A Theory in Search of Facts”: Federal Court Blasts EEOC Challenge to Criminal and Credit Background Checks

Criticizing the EEOC for placing employers in a "Hobson's choice" related to the criminal and credit background check of job applicants, the federal district court in Maryland threw out the EEOC's lawsuit against an event...more

U.S. District Court Decision Against EEOC: Use of Criminal Background and Credit History Checks in Making Hiring Decisions

A U.S. District Court judge in Maryland has dismissed a lawsuit that accused a nationwide marketing company of using background checks to discriminate against minority and male job applicants after finding the Equal...more

Background Check Policies Exposing Employers to Legal Liability

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) continues to challenge employers' seemingly legitimate reliance on background checks as part of the hiring process....more

Maryland Court Rejects EEOC Challenge To Criminal Background Checks

Many employers, including the EEOC, use criminal background checks as part of their hiring processes....more

Court Slams EEOC on Background Check Lawsuit

Last week, a district court in Maryland granted summary judgment in favor of Freeman, Inc. (“Freeman”), a service provider for corporate events, with respect to a nationwide pattern and practice lawsuit brought by the U.S....more

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