Criminal Background Checks

News & Analysis as of

July 1 Brings New Law Banning Felony Question on Public Job Applications

An important reminder that on July 1, 2014, Section 432.9 of the Labor Code came into effect. California Labor Code Section 432.9 bans government employers from asking job applicants about their criminal record until later in...more

Who's On Your Campus? Have You Checked The Sex-Offender List Lately?

An administrator’s nightmare is receiving a phone call that an individual on the sex offender’s list has harmed a child within the school. To avoid this horrible situation, schools now regularly check the criminal...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

New Jersey’s “Ban the Box” Bill Sent to Governor Christie’s Desk; Final Version More Employer-Friendly

In December, we wrote about New Jersey’s proposed “ban the box” measure, known as the Opportunity to Compete Act, making its way through the legislature – a law that would prohibit employers from inquiring about job...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

Rochester, New York Adopts “Ban the Box” Criminal Background Check Law

Effective November 18, 2014, the City of Rochester, New York will join various states and municipalities around the country—including Buffalo, New York—that prohibit employers from inquiring about a job applicant’s prior...more

Illinois On Verge Of Barring Employers From Soliciting Criminal Background Information On Applications

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn has stated that he will sign into law legislation passed by the Illinois legislature at the end of May that bars private sector employers from soliciting criminal background information. ...more

New Jersey Senate Bill Aimed at Protecting Job Applicants With Criminal History

Earlier this month, the New Jersey State Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee advanced a bill seeking to bar employers from inquiring about the criminal history of job applicants during initial interviews and on job...more

Maryland Expedites Licensing Process for Registered MLOs

Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley recently signed legislation that will expedite mortgage loan originator (MLO) licensing for registered MLOs. SB 1091 requires the Commissioner of Financial Regulation to waive the state...more

Illinois Enacting Criminal Background Screening Bill

Illinois is on the verge of enacting a law that will prohibit criminal background screening and inquiries, including criminal conviction inquiries of the applicant, until the applicant is selected for an interview or unless a...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

The City of Rochester Adopts a “Ban the Box” Ordinance

The City of Rochester recently unanimously enacted a “Ban the Box” ordinance, which prohibits employers from asking applicants about criminal convictions at any time before the employer has conducted an initial employment...more

Maryland Expedites Licensing For Certain Mortgage Loan Originators

On May 15, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley signed SB 1091, which expedites mortgage loan originator licensing in that state by requiring the Commissioner of Financial Regulation to waive the state’s criminal history records...more

Rochester, NY Approves Ban-the-Box Legislation

Rochester, New York joins many other cities and states in “banning the box,” prohibiting most employers (with limited exceptions) from inquiring about an applicant’s criminal history, including on an application, before the...more

Rochester, New York Joins The "Ban-the-Box Movement"

On May 22, 2014, the City of Rochester became the second city in New York to “ban the box,” by adopting legislation restricting the timing of pre-employment inquiries by most Rochester public and private employers into a...more

New "Ban the Box" Developments in Baltimore, Rochester, and Minnesota

Criminal background checks and a desire to increase employment opportunities for the formerly incarcerated continue to be a hot topic in state and local legislatures. This month the cities of Baltimore, Maryland and...more

Baltimore Mayor Signs “Ban the Box” Law Restricting Employers from Inquiring into Criminal History of Job Applicants

On May 15, 2014, Baltimore City Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake signed “An Ordinance Concerning ‘Ban the Box’— Fair Criminal Record-Screening Practices,” which prohibits any employer with 10 or more full-time equivalent...more

Employment Background Checks: Tips Employers Should Know to Comply With Federal Laws

Many employers rely on background checks to screen job applicants and employees when making important personnel decisions, including hiring, retention, and promotion. In March, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission...more

The Employer Conundrum Over Conducting Criminal Background Screens

The war continues over the use of criminal background checks in the hiring process and employers are caught in the middle. A brief history here may be helpful....more

FINRA Finalizes Mandatory Background Check Rule

On April 24, 2014, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) announced that its board of governors had approved rules requiring that firms to run background checks on new hires, whether new brokers or transfers, to...more

New Delaware Law “Encourages” State Vendors to “Ban the Box”

Delaware’s Governor recently signed a “ban the box” law to prohibit public employers from inquiring into or considering the credit or criminal history of a job candidate during the initial application process (up to and...more

Baltimore Businesses: Ban the Box or Jump in Jail!

Employers employing 10 or more full-time equivalent employees in the City of Baltimore beware: if you use criminal conviction information before making a conditional offer of employment, you risk criminal penalties under...more

Dig Up the Dirt, but Know the Rules of the Game - The Fair Credit Reporting Act and Background Checks

Employers like to know everything they can about applicants. Hiring employees is a big investment, and they want to do their due diligence up front so that their investment pays off. But before employers hire third-party...more

eTrends - EEOC and FTC Issue Joint Guidance on the Use of Background Checks for Employment Purposes

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) and the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) issued joint guidance last month on the use of background checks for employment purposes. Two publications were released. One...more

CMS Implements Fingerprinting Background Checks for New DME and Home Health Providers

In a recently released MLN Matters (Number: SE1417), CMS announced that it is implementing the enhanced enrollment screening provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) by requiring finger print based background checks for...more

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