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EEOC Announces New Guidance on Use of Criminal Background Checks Under Title VII-Focuses on Individualized Assessments of Past Crimes

Yesterday afternoon, the EEOC announced its long awaited, and, by employers, long dreaded, Enforcement Guidance on the Consideration of Arrest and Conviction Records in Employment Decisions under Title VII (along with a short and sweet Q&A ). The Guidance is not nearly as bad for employers...

New Federal Law Will Bar Employer Demands For Online Passwords

A few weeks ago, as reported here , Maryland became the first state to pass legislation that would ban employers from demanding that employees or job candidates turn over their social media passwords. Could a federal law be soon to follow? Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) has introduced legislation...

Fed. Legislation, SNOPA, Would Prohibit Facebook Snooping

Employers who request an employee's or job applicant's Facebook password continue to face pushback in legislatures across the country. As I posted last week, several states have introduced bills that would prohibit this type of coerced Facebook access . These states are following Maryland's...

Facebook-Privacy Laws: Update

Legislation, both state and federal, prohibiting employers from requesting an employee's or applicant's password continues to make progress. In Particular, the pending bills in California and New Jersey passed to the next level of their respective legislatures yesterday. The first two federal...

Taking the Mystery Out of Bad Hiring Practices

Want some free anti-harassment and anti-discrimination training? Well, have I got a deal for you! Mystery Diners is a reality show on the Food Network. The show's concept involves a father-daughter team who pretend to be employees and/or customers at a target restaurant in order to help the owner...

Social Media Password Privacy in Michigan

Effective January 1, 2013, the Internet Privacy Protection Act went into effect. The law prohibits employers from requiring employees or applicants to grant access to; to allow observation of; or to disclose information that allows access to personal internet accounts. The law does not prevent an...

Are Employers Really Asking for Social Media Logins and Passwords? [Survey]

Last month, I discussed the recently introduced Ohio Senate Bill 45 , which would prohibit employers "from requiring an applicant or employee to provide access to private electronic accounts of the applicant or employee." As I've earlier noted, this bill has many problems . One of its...

Accommodating Disabled Job Applicants Is No Game

When we think of employers' reasonable accommodation obligations under the ADA, we usually think in terms of accommodating current employees. The ADA, however, equally extends this obligation to job applicants. A recent lawsuit filed by the EEOC against Toys "R" Us illustrates this...

Your Rights Regarding Pre-employment Credit Checks

Nevada has just joined the ranks of 9 other states that have outlawed the use of credit history to discriminate against potential employees. However, they're still a minority. Still, there's a clear trend in the states. According to the National Conference of State Legislators , "42...

Social Media Background Checks as Discrimination

I’ve long argued that employers take a risk when they use social media to vet job candidates without putting in place sufficient controls to prevent the disclosure of protected EEO information. Now, we have the empirical evidence to back me up. Last week, the Wall Street Journal reported on...

It's Still Illegal Not to Hire Someone Because They Have HIV

Twenty years ago, Tom Hanks won the Best Actor Oscar for his portrayal of Andrew Beckett, a man with AIDS fired by his law firm because of his condition. Last week, the EEOC announced that it has filed suit against Maxim Healthcare Services, a Pittsburgh medical staffing company, for its refusal to hire...

Do as I Say: The EEOC and Credit Checks

On October 10, 2010, the EEOC held a public hearing on the impact that the use of credit history has on employee selection and potential discrimination. The press release summarizing the hearing carried the by-line that some witnesses said the practice can have a disparate impact on minorities and is...

Sixth Circuit Sends Strong Signal to EEOC in Affirming Dismissal of Systemic Lawsuit

Last January, a Cleveland federal-court judge dismissed a race discrimination lawsuit brought by the EEOC against Kaplan Higher Learning. In that case, the EEOC challenged Kaplan’s use of credit reports in its hiring process as having a systemic disparate impact based on race. To support its claim...

Would You Rather Hire a Liar or a Criminal?

According to a recent survey conducted by background-screening company EmployeeScreenIQ , resume lies are more of a deal breaker for employers than past crimes. Of the 600 HR professionals surveyed 45 percent said that they routinely ding candidates with a criminal history on their resume, while a whopping...

States Slowly Adopting Laws To Ease Ex-Felons' Path to Employment

by Rich Ehisen When Saun Hough got out of jail in 2012, he knew reintegrating into society wasn't going to be a cakewalk. Just 20 when he was convicted of second degree murder, he had since spent the better part of the last two decades behind prison bars. Now armed with an associate of arts degree...

States With Pro-Employee Laws: Ban The Box

Or, States That Don't Suck For Employees, Part VI You may have heard the term “ban the box” but not know what it means. These laws generally prevent employers from asking about applicant arrests or convictions at the beginning of the application process, and only allow inquiries after...

States With Pro-Employee Laws: No Solicitation Of Employees Through Misrepresentation

I've written before about the possibility of suing an employer for fraud if they misrepresented the job. If you are lured into a job, specifically if you give up another job or move to accept the job, and the employer had no intention of keeping the promises they made, you may have a claim against...

About That Employee You Hired…

by Kaitlin L. Hillenbrand Close your eyes and imagine a scenario. No, not the white sand beaches of the Caribbean. You aren’t on vacation. Instead, you’re stuck in the reality of HR, and your responsibility is to try and ramp up your company’s on-boarding efforts. So, your company...

Virginia Governor McAuliffe Issues 'Ban-The-Box' Order

After lawmakers failed to come up with their own “ban-the-box” measure this session, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) issued an executive order last week that bars Old Dominion state agencies from asking most job seekers about their criminal history. The Senate approved similar legislation...

Beware the Digital Immigrant

Fortune Magazine has an interesting article concerning how employers are using a term-- digital native-- in hiring which could be construed as a preference for younger applicants much the way that "new grad" was used in the past. In 2001, Marc Prensky wrote an article entitled Digital Natives...

Can We Stop With the Age-Based Stereotypes?

Is “digital native” the latest code term for “young”? A hot topic for the past few days, after an article on the subject appeared in Fortune , has been whether it’s discriminatory for an employer to specify in recruiting that it’s seeking to hire “digital...

Survey Shows Many Hiring Managers Are Not Bashful About Trolling Applicants Online

It’s funny. (Not “ha ha!” funny. Just, employment-law blogger, wry-smile funny). I read different surveys about social media and hiring and the numbers vary greatly. For every survey that indicates that employers are not using social media to vet candidates, you get the one I...

New Poll Reveals Continued Risk in Googling Job Applicants

According to a recently published Harris Poll , 52 percent of employers use social media to research job candidates. This number is up from 43 percent in 2014 and 39 percent in 2013. What information are employers looking for? 60 percent are looking for information that supports their qualifications...

New York City Mayor Signs Law Prohibiting Discrimination in Employment Based on Consumer Credit History

Effective September 3, 2015, a new statute prohibits most employers in New York City, other than employers in the securities industry, from requesting or using an employee’s or a job applicant’s consumer credit history in making employment decisions. Specifically, on May 6, 2015, New York...

"Ban the Box" Comes to Oregon

by Kyle Abraham On June 25, 2015, Oregon joined the growing list of states to pass a “Ban the Box” law. “Ban the Box” refers to a law prohibiting employers from asking an applicant to check a box on the employment application if he or she has ever been convicted of a crime...