News & Analysis as of

EEOC Criminal Background Check Cases Come With Big Price Tags for All Parties

One of the EEOC's top priorities has been ensuring individuals are not discriminated against based on their criminal histories. In recent years, it has filed multiple headline-grabbing lawsuits related to background checks...more

Employment Law - October 2015

FTC Offers Employers Lesson in FCRA Compliance—And Limited Exceptions - Why it matters: A California employer recently received a lesson in Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) compliance from the Federal Trade...more

Background Checks are Still Big Litigation Business—Just Ask BMW

Yet another reminder that everyone using criminal background checks in the hiring process needs to review their standards—BMW just entered a consent decree with the EEOC under which it will pay $1.6 million and offer to hire...more

Massachusetts Policies and Procedures “Checkup”: The Top 10 Areas for Review

Now that the lazy days of summer are over and fall is here, it’s a good time for Massachusetts employers to perform a “checkup” on their policies and procedures to make sure they are compliant with Massachusetts law before...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

The Background Check Conundrum: “Manufacturing” a Problem (Pun Intended)

I am a longtime advocate of pre-employment criminal background checks. So I have watched with resigned acceptance as the EEOC, over 100 states and cities across the United States, and other public advocates have fought to...more

Court Orders EEOC To Pay Employer Nearly $1 Million In Attorneys' Fees And Costs, Finds EEOC Pursued Case Long After It Was Clear...

Employers often criticize the EEOC’s position on employers’ use of background checks in the application process as increasing exposure for disparate treatment claims from applicants and as being willfully blind to legitimate...more

That is SO last week - September 2015 #2

Last week, Ellen Pao withdrew the appeal in her sex discrimination lawsuit against Kleiner Perkins. The Pao v. Kleiner Perkins trial captivated Silicon Valley as it sought to spotlight all-male company ski trips and double...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 Signs Consent Decree – Background Screening

BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC (“BMW”) entered into a consent decree with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) regarding allegations that they discriminated against African American logistics employees through...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

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

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

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

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