News & Analysis as of

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

Employment Law Reporter – August 2015

THE INCREASING DANGER OF BACKGROUND CHECKS - New Laws and Emerging Privacy Rights Complicate an Already Difficult Process. The intersection of privacy laws and employment practices can be a dangerous one. Employers...more

(A Little) More to Digest on Criminal Background Checks

Last month, we discussed the importance of maintaining employment files, including records on the use of criminal background information in the employment process. We suggested steps to ensure that your use of such...more

Using Criminal Convictions in the Hire Process: A Hobson's Choice for Employers?

Is the government really telling employers that they are not allowed to disqualify an applicant because of past criminal activity? In a word, yes. That is increasingly becoming the case on the state level and has been the...more

Are You Keeping the Records Related to Your Company’s Selection Procedures? The EEOC is Watching...

Is your company aware that federal regulations require that employers retain certain personnel and employment records related to its selection procedures? A recent lawsuit by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)...more

Oregon’s New “Ban the Box” Law Prohibits Criminal History Questions on Employment Applications

It’s been an active legislative session in Oregon this year regarding laws affecting the state’s employers. Hot on the heels of enacting laws relating to paid sick leave, noncompete agreements, and employee privacy on social...more

Top 10 Bad Questions to Avoid When Interviewing a Job Applicant

When interviewing job applicants, there are good questions and bad questions. A good question seeks relevant and helpful information about the person applying for the job and about the applicant’s job qualifications...more

Big Data & Employer Recordkeeping Requirements

Last week, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sued a janitorial and facilities management company for its failure to keep adequate recruitment records. The EEOC alleges that the company used “criminal history...more

EEOC Uses its Record Keeping Requirements to Police Use of Criminal Background Checks

We don't think about personnel files – we just have them. Everything from employment applications to benefits enrollment forms to discipline and discharge documents goes into those files. But did you know that the EEOC...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

Employment Law Newsletter - July 2015

In This Issue: - Employer Risks in Using Employment-Related Criminal Background Checks - DOL Releases Proposed Amendments to FLSA Overtime Regulations: Now is the Time to Reassess Compliance and Update Your...more

Private-Sector Employers Doing Business with Local Governments may be Subject to Even More Ban-the-Box and Other Laws Restricting...

In 1998 Hawaii became the first state to pass a so-called "ban-the-box" law, prohibiting both private- and public-sector employers from inquiring about an applicant's conviction history until after the employer makes a...more

Employer Risks in Using Employment-Related Criminal Background Checks

Use of employment-related background checks by employers to discover information about the work history, education, criminal record and financial history of job applicants has become ubiquitous. In one recent survey of...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

Background Checks? That is the Question

Has your company decided yet whether it will conduct criminal background or credit checks? If you are already using that tool as part of your job screening process, are you keeping up with legal developments in every city,...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 Joins Movement to “Ban The Box” In Hiring Practices

On June 10, 2015, the New York City Council voted to prohibit private employers from asking job applicants questions about criminal convictions on job applications. Under the Fair Chance Act (the “Act”) an employer may ask...more

Federal Court Limits Employer's Right to Discover Information About the EEOC’s Own Hiring Policies and Expands the EEOC's Rights...

In recent years, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has aggressively sought to enforce its April 2012 enforcement guidance concerning how, in the EEOC’s view, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 restricts an...more

Virginia Governor’s Order “Encourages” Private Employers to “Ban the Box”

Last week, Virginia Governor Terrence McAuliffe signed an executive order “banning the box” on most state employment applications and “encouraging” private employers and government contractors to do the same. “Ban the box”...more

Think Twice Before Disqualifying an Applicant Due to Criminal History

When hiring new employees, many factors are considered. This may include conducting a criminal background check. And, if a background check comes back showing a criminal history, employers may be tempted to simply throw that...more

Hawaii Supreme Court Says Employer Failed to Establish “Rational Relationship” Between Applicant’s Drug Conviction and Position...

Hawaii, like some other states, only permits employers to consider convictions that bear a “rational relationship to the duties and responsibilities of the position.” Recently, the Hawaii Supreme Court had occasion to decide...more

Fourth Circuit Rejects EEOC Expert Report Riddled With Errors

We’ve written before on the questionable statistics used by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in other cases, and a recent court of appeals case involving background checks suggests that the EEOC is...more

Fourth Circuit Dismisses EEOC’s Background Check Lawsuit Based on Its Reliance on “Laughable” And Unreliable Expert Report Filled...

Earlier this session, in Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) v. Freeman, No. 13-2365 (4th Cir. Feb. 20, 2015), the Fourth Circuit affirmed the award of summary judgment against the EEOC in its suit alleging that...more

Fourth Circuit Slaps EEOC for Use of Misleading, Incomplete and Error-Riddled Expert Testimony

Several years ago, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission set discriminatory use of criminal and financial background checks as a top enforcement priority. These cases are brought under the disparate impact theory,...more

Federal Appellate Court Throws Out EEOC Discrimination Complaint After Expert Accused of “Cherry-Picking” Data

Last week, the Federal Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit upheld a district court’s decision granting summary judgment to an employer accused by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) of racial bias in its...more

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