Criminal Background Checks Discrimination

News & Analysis as of

New York City Severely Limits Employers' Right to Background Checks - Recent Legislation "Bans the Box" and Forbids Credit Checks...

Employers in New York City (NYC) now face restrictions on the types of information they can seek about prospective employees, either through job applications, interviews, independent research or background checks. This is due...more

EEOC Settles Background Check Litigation with BMW, But Also Faces Steep Attorneys’ Fees in Freeman Case

After several high-profile setbacks in disparate impact discrimination lawsuits challenging criminal record screening policies, the EEOC has entered into a settlement (consent decree) in one of its few remaining cases, a...more

Employment Alert (US): Employers Beware: New York City’s New “Ban-the-Box” Law Takes Effect This October

An increasing number of jurisdictions across the country have adopted legislation in recent years restricting a prospective employer’s ability to run a criminal background check. Colloquially known as “ban the box,” the...more

State Appellate Court Considers Employer’s Duty to Conduct Criminal Background Checks

In the last few years, there has been a significant spike in the number of lawsuits challenging employer use of criminal background checks, including class action lawsuits brought under the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act. ...more

EEOC Settles Background Check Suit with BMW, Leaves Employers Still Without Guidance

Earlier this week, it was announced that BMW Manufacturing Co. and the EEOC had entered into a Consent Decree, resolving one of three high profile suits over a company's use of background checks in the hire process that had...more

EEOC Loses One, Wins One

The EEOC had a roller coaster week with respect to its aggressive challenges to employers’ background check practices. On September 3, a federal district court in Maryland slapped the EEOC with an attorney’s fees...more

BMW to Pay $1.6 Million and Offer Jobs to Settle Federal Race Discrimination Lawsuit

Company's Criminal Background Policy Disproportionately Affected African-American Logistics Workers, EEOC Charged - GREENVILLE, S.C. - The U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina today entered a consent...more

Addressing and Preventing Workplace Violence

The subject of workplace violence has unfortunately made headlines once again after a news anchor and cameraman were killed by a former co-worker in Virginia last week. Employers are understandably concerned and have...more

Virginia Shooting Raises Questions About Background Checks

First, let me say that most shootings (including the recent incident in Virginia) are random acts of violence by crazy people. It is difficult, if not impossible, to predict when an employee will snap, or whether an...more

That is SO last week - July 2015 #2

Last week, The New York Times’ The Upshot blog covered a topic that has been one of our top concerns for a while: how big data can discriminate. The post followed a Carnegie Mellon University study that reported, among many...more

Employers Burdened By More New Laws

The Oregon Legislature enacted several laws in 2015 that will significantly affect your workplace. The following laws go into effect Jan. 1, 2016: Paid Sick Leave - As expected, Oregon has enacted a mandatory paid sick leave...more

Background Screening Companies May Now Report Convictions Older Than Seven Years in Nevada

Under the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), background screening companies (or consumer reporting agencies) are generally prohibited from reporting certain types of derogatory information that the FCRA considers to be...more

Five EEOC Initiatives to Monitor on the Agency’s Silver Anniversary

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) opened its doors on July 2, 1965, exactly one year after President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Title VII of that act (“Title VII”) prohibits...more

New York City – Ban the Box Plus Measure

New York City passed a local law to amend its administrative code to prohibit employment discrimination based on one’s arrest record or criminal conviction. Employers and background screeners take note. The legislation, the...more

New York City “Bans the Box”—Inquiries Into Applicants’ Criminal Histories Now Significantly Restricted

On June 10, 2015, the New York City Council passed the Fair Chance Act (the “Act”), which prohibits employers from inquiring into the criminal backgrounds of applicants in the initial stages of the employment application...more

BREAKING: NYC "Bans the Box," Barring Most Pre-Employment Criminal Inquiries

Just weeks after prohibiting employers from using credit checks, the New York City Council Wednesday passed yet another bill that handcuffs businesses attempting to vet new job applicants. Most notably, the bill, commonly...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

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 - Helping Employers Navigate the Battle Between Negligent Hiring and Discriminatory Hiring Practices

With quick and easy electronic access to personal information at an employer’s fingertips, employers must learn how to properly utilize such information in the hiring process. The failure to perform adequate background checks...more

2014 Employment and Labor Law Final Exam

It’s time once again to test your employment and labor law knowledge with Nexsen Pruet’s fourth annual final exam. From new legal decisions to black letter statutory law, it’s your chance to show off your legal prowess....more

Texas’ Mess Premature

Back in November, we alerted you to Texas’ lawsuit against the EEOC over the EEOC’s Enforcement Guidance prohibiting categorical employer policies that preclude hiring convicted felons. Texas v. EEOC, No. 5:13-CV-255-C (N.D....more

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

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

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