LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
New Jersey Limits Use of Criminal History in Hiring Decisions

by Rachel Tischler As we reported in December 2013 (see here ), New Jersey was on the road to joining 6 other states which have recently passed legislation banning or limiting the use of criminal background checks in the hiring process. On August 11, 2014, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed...

New Law Restricts Ability of Employers in New Jersey to Ask Job Applicants If They Have Criminal Records

On August 11, 2014, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed into law the New Jersey Opportunity to Compete Act , Pub. L. 2014, ch. 32 (the “Opportunity to Compete Act,” the “NJOCPA,” or the “Act”), which takes effect on March 1, 2015. The Opportunity to Compete Act...

Read This Before You Revoke A Job Offer in Pennsylvania Based on Criminal History

Across the country, many states and localities have enacted ban-the-box legislation. In a nutshell, ban the box means that employers cannot inquire about an applicant's criminal history until after the first job interview. For example, Philadelphia has ban the box. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania...

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...

Role Reversal! EEOC Must Disclose Its Own Background Check Policy to the Employer It's Suing

Monday kinda sucked for the EEOC. The agency that made scrutiny of employee background checks a top priority under its current Strategic Enforcement Plan has been ordered by a federal court to turn over its own background check policy to an employer whom it is suing for a criminal background check...

Better Than "Ban the Box?"

Michigan has taken a different approach with respect to addressing the issue of employability of persons who were convicted and served time in state prisons. The state enacted two laws which combine to provide a level of defense for employers who hired ex-convicts. The first bill establishes a procedure...

Class Action FCRA Lawsuit Challenging Defendant’s Employment Background Screening Disclosure Form Settles for $6.8 Million

by David M. Gettings , John C. Lynch , David N. Anthony and Alan D. Wingfield In a class action settlement that was recently granted final approval, Publix Super Markets Inc. agreed to pay nearly $6.8 million in a class action lawsuit settlement over background checks under the Fair Credit Reporting...

Fourth Circuit Eviscerates EEOC in Background Screening Case

Nearly a year ago, the 6th Circuit sent a strong message to the EEOC in dismissing a case regarding its “expert” witness retained to challenge an employer’s use of credit checks. Last Friday, the 4th Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a similar case in which the EEOC used the same expert...

Food Lion Parent Company Settles Multi-Million Dollar FCRA Background Screening Class Action

by David M. Gettings , Tim J. St. George and Alan D. Wingfield On March 2, the plaintiff’s counsel in Brown v. Delhaize America, LLC submitted an unopposed motion for preliminary approval, seeking Court approval of another Fair Credit Reporting Act class action settlement. Employers should treat...

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...

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

by Christopher Collins 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...

"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...

New Law Restricts Ability of Employers in New York City to Ask Job Applicants If They Have Criminal Records

On June 29, 2015, New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio signed, into law, the New York City Fair Chance Act, Local 63 of 2015 (the “Fair Chance Act,” the “NYCFCA,” “Local Law 63″ or the “new Law”) , which takes effect on October 27, 2015. The Fair Chance Act...

Background Checks...Time For Honesty?

The tragic shootings involving the WDBJ crew and the subsequent information which is coming to light concerning Vester Flanagan will trigger discussions about workplace violence and employees who have anger issues. There is another issue that should receive some attention and was referenced in today's...

The On-Air Shootings at WDBJ-TV: When Bad Things Happen to Good Employees

What could WDBJ7-TV have done to prevent Wednesday morning’s tragic on-air murders? Unfortunately, probably not a thing. I’m a second-guesser, and I have spent much of the last 48 hours racking my brain about what the CBS affiliate in Roanoke, Virginia, could have done differently. Based...

FTC Provides Guidance on FCRA Requirements for Employer Background Checks

by John L. Culhane, Jr. When examining banks and companies subject to CFPB supervisory authority for FCRA compliance, CFPB examiners will look at whether the bank or company has followed FCRA requirements for use of background checks on employees and job applicants. Those requirements were the...

BMW Settles EEOC Background-Check Lawsuit For a Cool $1.6 Mil

Last month, a South Carolina federal judge denied BMW’s attempt to dismiss an EEOC lawsuit which alleged that the company’s criminal background checks for job applicants had a discriminatory disparate impact on African Americans ( opinion here ) [subscribers can access an enhanced version...

A Bipartisan “Ban the Box” Bill is Introduced in Congress

Some states and cities have made it illegal to ask about criminal convictions on job applications. A new bill introduced last week in both the U.S. House and Senate called the Fair Chance Act may “ban the box” across the country for all federal agencies and federal contractors. With limited...

Federal “Ban the Box” Legislation Announced by Bipartisan Group

by Tim J. St. George , David M. Gettings , David N. Anthony and John C. Lynch On September 10, a bipartisan group of lawmakers in both houses of Congress introduced the Fair Chance Act (S. 2021/H.R. 3470). The Fair Chance Act was introduced by Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D...

The Lessons of EEOC v. Freeman – “Know When to Hold ’Em. Know When to Fold ’Em.”

I was going to skip past this opinion from the District of Maryland until I realized that it started with a reference to a classic country song and, therefore, it immediately moved up my list and became worthy of a closer read. World-renowned poker expert Kenny Rogers once sagely advised, “You’ve...

An Injury Without an Injury? #SCOTUS, Standing, and the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Yesterday, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins . This case should answer a very important question for employers: Does a plaintiff have standing to bring a lawsuit for a technical violation of the Fair Credit Report Act if the individual suffered no resulting concrete harm...

President Obama Wants Federal Agencies to “Ban the Box”

No more questions about criminal convictions on job applications. Flanked by New Jersey Senator (and former Newark Mayor) Cory Booker (D-NJ), President Obama announced yesterday in Newark, NJ that he would take action to help those with criminal convictions to find jobs. According to a White House...

Proposed Federal “Ban the Box” Legislation Receives Bipartisan Support

by Jonathan Sokolowski and Kathleen Simpson* 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...