Category Archives: Background Investigations

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“Ban the Box” and Background Checks – Recent Trends and Movements

Overview Retailers and other employers regularly consider the backgrounds of job applicants and employees when making personnel decisions. It is not illegal for employers to ask questions about an applicant’s criminal history, or to require a background check. However, whenever an employer requests background information about a job applicant or employee, the employer must comply … Continue Reading

Los Angeles Enacts “Fair Chance” Ordinance Prohibiting Criminal History Inquiries Prior To Conditional Offers Of Employment

Following the Los Angeles minimum wage ordinance that was enacted earlier this year, the City of Los Angeles has now enacted another ordinance that will significantly impact employers doing business within city limits.  On December 9, 2016, Mayor Garcetti signed into law the “Fair Chance” ordinance, which significantly limits the ability of Los Angeles employers … Continue Reading

New Year, New Rules for Employers Doing Business in New Jersey

This past year New Jersey state and local legislatures implemented several employment laws that are set to take effect at the end of 2015 or in early 2016. This update summarizes these new legal requirements to help New Jersey employers prepare and comply in 2016.… Continue Reading

Proposed Federal “Ban the Box” Legislation Receives Bipartisan Support

On September 10, 2015, the Fair Chance Act (the “Act”) was introduced by a bipartisan group of legislators from both houses of Congress. The Act would prohibit federal contractors and agencies from inquiring into an applicant’s criminal history prior to a conditional offer of employment.  The proposed legislation would allow an employer to conduct a … Continue Reading

NYC Council Votes to Sharply Restrict Employer Use of Criminal Background Checks

On Wednesday, June 10, 2015, the New York City Council approved a bill that will strictly regulate how employers in New York City (with at least four employees) may conduct criminal background checks.  Mayor Bill de Blasio is expected to sign the bill, which will go into effect 120 days after enactment.  The bill comes … Continue Reading

NYC Council Votes to Ban Employers from Conducting Credit Checks

On April 16, 2015, the New York City Council (the “Council”) passed a bill (Int. 0261-2014) prohibiting employers from requesting or using the consumer credit history of an employee or job applicant when making employment decisions (the “Bill”).  More specifically, the Bill would make it a discriminatory practice to request or use the consumer credit … Continue Reading

New Illinois Laws in 2015: What Employers Should Know

Ban the Box Joining the current “Ban the Box” trend, effective January 1, 2015, the Job Opportunities for Qualified Applicants Act prohibits Illinois employers from asking job applicants about their criminal record or criminal history until after the employer determines that the individual is qualified for the position and notifies the individual that s/he has … Continue Reading

Illinois Becomes The Fifth State To Enact So Called “Ban The Box” Law, Prohibiting Private Sector Employers From Asking About Criminal History

This past Monday, July 21, 2014, Illinois joined Hawaii, Massachusetts, Minnesota and Rhode Island as the fifth State to enact a so called “ban the box” law.  Signed by the Governor, the law will take effect on January 1, 2015.  Called the Job Opportunities for Qualified Applicants Act, the law prohibits private sector employers from … Continue Reading

New EEOC Guidelines Regarding Employers’ Obligations With Respect to Background Checks and Accommodation of Religious Dress and Grooming Practices

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) recently announced new guidelines that may impact the way employers conduct background checks and accommodate religious dress and grooming practices.… Continue Reading

Is Your Criminal Screening Process Compliant?

An employer’s reluctance in hiring an applicant with a criminal history is understandable and sensible. Employers have an obligation to ensure a safe workplace, can be fined for failing to enact safeguards against workplace violence, and face liability for negligent hiring and retention of employees who commit violence in the workplace. Furthermore, a job applicant’s … Continue Reading

Proposed New York City Bill Would Ban Credit Checks from Hiring Process

On April 11, 2013, the New York City Council’s Committee on Civil Rights debated a proposed bill that would ban employers from using credit checks to evaluate prospective employees. The proposed bill, called the Stop Credit Discrimination in Employment Act (the “SCDEA” and available here), would create a blanket ban on using credit information for … Continue Reading

N.J. Legislature Introduces Legislation Imposing Restrictions on Pre-Employment Inquiries into Criminal History of Applicants

In February 2013, identical bills aimed at reducing pre-employment discrimination against individuals with criminal histories were introduced in the New Jersey Senate and the New Jersey Assembly (S2586 and A3837). Both bills proposed the adoption of the Opportunity to Compete Act (the “Act”) which would impose multiple restrictions and requirements on employers in connection with … Continue Reading

The EEOC Issues Updated Guidance on Employer Use of Arrest and Conviction Records

On April 25, 2012, the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) issued updated enforcement guidance on employers’ use of arrest and conviction records when making employment decisions under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”). The EEOC’s guidance (the “Guidance”) is intended to codify and build on its prior policies … Continue Reading

Password Protected – Proposed Social Media Privacy Legislation

The job market appears to be on an upswing, and with this upswing, and the advent of new technology, comes new challenges for employers and applicants alike. Potential employees may have online identities that many employers deem useful when investigating a job applicant. However, privacy settings on many social media sites allow an applicant to … Continue Reading

Legal Issues Surrounding Social Media Background Checks

By Michelle Sherman Agatha Christie had a novel take on invention being the mother of necessity. She disagreed and said, “[I]nvention, in my opinion, arises directly from idleness, possibly also from laziness. To save oneself trouble.” She may have been onto something when you think about businesses that are turning to outside vendors to research … Continue Reading

The New Federal “Disposal Rule”: Requirements For Destruction of Consumer Information

Effective June 1, 2005, a new federal rule requires employers to take appropriate measures to dispose of sensitive information derived from consumer reports. The purpose of this new “Disposal Rule” is to reduce the risk of consumer fraud and identity theft created by the improper disposal of consumer information.… Continue Reading

Employers Must Provide Public Records Uncovered During Investigations Into Employee’s Wrongdoing Or Misconduct Within Reasonable Time

On January 31, 2005, a California Court of Appeal decided in the case of Gene Moran v. Murtaugh, Miller, Meyer & Nelson, LLP, et al. that, pursuant to California’s Investigative Consumer Reporting Agencies Act (the “Act”), employers must provide employees copies of public records uncovered in the context of an investigation into the employee’s wrongdoing … Continue Reading
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