Employment Law Alert

Employment Law Alert

News and Updates on Employment Law

Tag Archives: Background Checks

Reminder: NYC Ban the Box Law Effective October 27, 2015

Posted in Discrimination
Employers must be aware of the changes to the New York City Administrative Code effective October 27, 2015, which prohibits employers from asking applicants regarding their criminal histories (typically called “Ban the Box”) prior to a conditional offer of employment. Under the new law called the Fair Chance Act (the “Act”) – which affects employers of four or more employees – employers may not (1) ask the applicant during an interview, (2) include a question on an application, or (3) conduct a separate search using public sources, such as the internet, to elicit information regarding an applicant’s criminal convictions or arrest records. The Act contains limited exceptions for persons who apply for law enforcement positions or for licenses concerning the regulation of firearms and explosives. Also, the Act does not prevent an employer from conducting a background check required by state, federal or local law that mandates criminal background checks or that bars employment based on a criminal history. An example of such requirement is regulations of a self-regulatory organization such as FINRA.… Continue Reading

NYC Law Expected To Change Employer Use of Credit Checks

Posted in Privacy
The City of New York likely will tighten the reins on an employer’s ability to use credit checks when making hiring and retention decisions. The City Council approved a bill that would amend the New York City Human Rights Law, § 8-102 et seq. (“NYCHRL”) to prohibit an employer, labor organization, employment agency, or their agents from using an applicant's or employee's “consumer credit history” for employment purposes or to otherwise discriminate against an applicant or employee based on consumer credit history. If the legislation is signed by the Mayor – on whose desk the proposed bill now sits – it will go into effect within 120 days after the Mayor signs.… Continue Reading

New EEOC/FTC Joint Informal Guidance on Employers’ Use of Background Checks into Workers’ Criminal Records

Posted in Discrimination
On March 10, 2014, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued their first joint guidance on employer use of background checks in hiring or firing decisions. The use of background checks by employers in personnel decisions is becoming a more tricky road to navigate. The EEOC enforces the Federal anti-discrimination laws and the FTC enforces the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), all of which can be implicated in the background check process, particularly when a third party credit reporting agency becomes involved. The EEOC/FTC joint guidance is reduced to two brief, non-technical documents -- one for employers and another for job applicants respectively--called “Background Checks: What Employers Need to Know,” and “Background Checks: What Job Applicants and Employees Should Know.” The guidance for employers describes the information and documentation in a background check report that may be used lawfully to make personnel decisions about a job applicant or employee. The document for applicants identifies the employer’s obligations particularly when relying upon a background check to disqualify an applicant or employee.… Continue Reading

Governor Christie Signs Legislation Protecting Social Networking Accounts of Employees

Posted in Policies/Handbooks, Privacy
On August 29, 2013, Governor Chris Christie signed a bill that prohibits most employers from requiring employees or prospective employees to disclose user names and passwords for social networking accounts like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. The new law, which goes into effect December 1, 2013, makes New Jersey the 13th state to enact legislation protecting the social networking accounts of employees. The Gibbons Employment Law Alert previously covered the proposed bill before it became law.… Continue Reading

Reminder to NYC Employers: Unemployed in Protected Class Beginning June 11, 2013

Posted in Discrimination
As previously reported, the group of individuals protected by the New York City Human Rights Law ("NYCHRL") has been expanded to cover the status of being "unemployed." The Amendment to the NYCHRL -- which goes into effect June 11, 2013 -- prohibits discrimination against job applicants because they are unemployed. The NYCHRL provides for a private right of action against employers.… Continue Reading

What to Expect from the EEOC in 2013

Posted in Discrimination
At the Gibbons Second Annual Employment & Labor Law Conference last month, one panel discussion focused on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's ("EEOC") recent activity and enforcement priorities. Among the panelists were Corrado Gigante, Director of the Newark Area Office of the EEOC, and Gibbons Directors, Christine Amalfe, Kelly Ann Bird and Susan Nardone.… Continue Reading

Complying with the EEOC’s and New York’s Criminal Background Check Laws

Posted in Policies/Handbooks
As previously reported, in April 2012 the Equal Employment Opportunity Community (EEOC) issued its Enforcement Guidance on the Consideration of Arrest and Conviction Records in Employment Decisions under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, updating and clarifying its prior guidance on the subject. Compliance with state and local laws on the subject can present a challenge for employers. Mitchell Boyarsky and Peter J. Dugan of the Gibbons Employment & Labor Law Department discuss these challenges in a recent article published in the New York Law Journal.… Continue Reading

New Requirements for NJ Employers and for Employers Conducting Business in Newark, NJ

Posted in Discrimination
Beginning November 12, 2012, the State of New Jersey will require employers to post a new "equal pay" notice in the work place, to provide the notice to employees and to obtain an acknowledgment of receipt. Effective November 18, 2012, the City of Newark will impose restrictions on employers conducting hiring in the City with regard to the use of criminal background checks for job applicants.… Continue Reading

The New EEOC Guidance Regarding Criminal Background Checks

Posted in Discrimination
On Wednesday, April 25, 2012, the Equal Employment Opportunity Community issued its long awaited Enforcement Guidance on the Consideration of Arrest and Conviction Records in Employment Decisions under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, updating and clarifying its prior guidance on the subject. The good news? Employers may continue to use criminal background checks as a screening tool for applicants and employees. However, employers are specifically discouraged from asking about a criminal record on the application and are encouraged to conduct an individualized assessment of the applicant/employee when job exclusion occurs because of a criminal record. Employers should review their policies to ensure compliance with the EEOC's latest recommendations.… Continue Reading