Law and the Workplace

Category Archives: Hiring/Background Checks

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NYC Commission on Human Rights Proposes Fair Chance Act Rules

NYC Commission on Human RightsThe New York City Commission on Human Rights (the “Commission”) published today a Notice of Public Hearing and Opportunity to Comment on its proposal to amend its rules to establish certain definitions and procedures in connection with the Fair Chance Act.  (See our prior blog posts on the Fair Chance Act here, here and here.)  … Continue Reading

Public Hearings Held On Two Additional District of Columbia Employment-Related Bills

On Tuesday, January 26, 2016, the D.C. Council held a joint public hearing on two employment-related bills. Both the video and audio recordings of the hearing are available on the D.C. Council’s website. The first bill addressed at the joint public hearing was the Fair Credit History Screening Act of 2015 (Bill B21-0244). This bill … Continue Reading

2015 Year in Review—the Top 10 Trends in New Jersey Employment Law

In 2015, there were important developments in New Jersey employment law. This newsletter examines some of those developments in ten key areas— background checks, whistleblowing, paid sick leave, wage and hour, Law Against Discrimination (“LAD”) litigation, arbitration, workplace injury, “Faithless Servant” Doctrine, Family Medical Leave Act, and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of … Continue Reading

Ban the Box Update Round Up: Portland, Philadelphia and New Jersey

The past several weeks have seen a flurry of “ban the box” developments, including: The passage of a law in Portland, Oregon banning the box for private employers; The page of amendments expanding the ban the box law in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and The publication of regulations regarding New Jersey’s ban the box law. These developments … Continue Reading

NYC Commission on Human Rights Clarifies Background Screening Laws

NYC Commission on Human RightsOn Thursday, November 19, 2015, Cornell University’s ILR School Labor and Employment Law Program hosted “NYC Ban the Box and Stop Credit Discrimination: A Conversation on Enforcement with the City Commission on Human Rights.”  Speaking at the program were Carmelyn P. Malalis, Chair of the New York City Commission on Human Rights (the “Commission”); Paul … Continue Reading

NYCCHR Publishes Pre-Adverse Action Form

New York City’s new Fair Chance Act goes into effect this Tuesday (October 27, 2015).  As discussed in our prior posts (here and here), New York employers have long been required – prior to taking adverse action on the basis of an applicant’s criminal record – to engage in a multi-factor analysis under Article 23-A … Continue Reading

NYC Commission on Human Rights Explains New NYC Background Check Laws

We were pleased to host a program this morning on New York City’s two new background check laws, the Stop Credit Discrimination in Employment Act and the Fair Chance Act.  Paul Keefe, Supervising Attorney at the NYC Commission on Human Rights gave a detailed presentation on the new laws and clarified the Commission’s interpretation of … Continue Reading

NYCCHR Issues Guidance on Credit Check Law

The New York City Commission on Human Rights (the “Commission”) has just issued guidance in respect of the Stop Credit Discrimination in Employment Act (the “SCDEA”), which goes into effect today and modified the New York City Human Rights Law to place limitations on employers’ ability to conduct credit checks on employees and applicants for employment.  See our previous … Continue Reading

Maine Enacts Social Media Protections for Applicants and Employees

Effective as of October 15, 2015, employers in Maine will be restricted in their ability to access the personal social media accounts of applicants and employees. Specifically, under the new law, an employer may not: Require, coerce or request that an employee or applicant disclose the password for a private social media account; Require, coerce … Continue Reading

Georgia Enacts “Mini”-FCRA

For more than four decades, the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”) has regulated consumer reporting agencies (“CRAs”) that furnish consumer reports (i.e., background checks) to third parties such as employers. Over the years, several states have adopted so-called “mini”-FCRAs, including Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, and Washington. Last week, … Continue Reading

NYC Mayor Signs “Ban the Box” Law

Today, Mayor Bill DeBlasio signed a bill (Int. No. 318) that amends the New York City Human Rights Law (“NYCHRL”) to further restrict employers (with four or more employees) from inquiring into or otherwise considering an applicant’s or employee’s criminal history in employment decisions.  The new NYC law will take effect on October 27, 2015. … Continue Reading

Oregon “Bans the Box” for Private Employers

Oregon is the latest state to “ban the box” for private employers.  Starting January 1, 2016, an employer may not require an applicant to disclose a criminal conviction on an employment application or at any time prior to an initial interview.  If the employer does not conduct an interview, then the employer may not require … Continue Reading

New Nevada Law Expands Employer Access to Conviction Records

While Nevada law does not limit how far back employers can directly ask applicants or employees about their conviction history, for years it has generally prohibited consumer reporting agencies (CRAs) from providing employers with conviction records that are more than 7 years old. Earlier this month, however, Nevada’s governor signed a law (S.B. 409) that removes … Continue Reading

Colorado Supreme Court Okays Discharge of Medical Marijuana-Using Employee

Colorado, like some other states including New York, has a law that generally prohibits an employer from discharging an employee for engaging in lawful activities outside of work.  Earlier this week, in Coats v. Dish Network, No. 13SC394, the Colorado Supreme Court affirmed a lower court ruling that the state’s “lawful activities” statute does not … Continue Reading

NYC “Ban the Box” Bill Heads to Mayor’s Desk

On Wednesday, by a 45-5 vote, the New York City Council passed a bill (Int. No. 318) to amend the New York City Human Rights Law (“NYCHRL”) to further restrict employers from inquiring into or otherwise considering  an applicant’s or employee’s criminal history in employment decisions.  Mayor DeBlasio is expected to sign the bill into … Continue Reading

Oregon Amends Social Media Law

Man using smartphoneAbout two years ago, Oregon enacted a law restricting employers from accessing the personal social media accounts of their applicants and employees.  For more on the law, see our prior client alert. Last week, Oregon’s governor signed a bill to broaden the protections of the state’s social media law.  The amendment takes effect January 1, … Continue Reading

Cook County, Illinois Amends Human Rights Ordinance To Limit Credit Checks

Cook County, Illinois enacted a bill (No. 15-3088) that amends the Cook County Human Rights Ordinance to restrict employers from asking about or otherwise considering a prospective or current employee’s credit history in employment decisions.  The new ordinance took effect yesterday.  It is nearly identical to laws in Illinois and Chicago that were enacted a … Continue Reading

New Connecticut Online Privacy Law Protects Prospective & Current Employees

Man using smartphoneEarlier this week, Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy signed a law to protect prospective and current employees from employer interference with their “personal online accounts.” The new law, which will take effect on October 1, 2015, defines personal online accounts to include any online account used by a prospective or current employee exclusively for personal … Continue Reading

“Ban the Box” Trend Continues Across the Country

The “ban the box” movement—which seeks to remove questions about criminal history from an employer’s initial employment application—continues to cut across geographic and political divides. In March and April, we blogged about the governors of two Southern states—Republican Governor Nathan Deal of Georgia and Democratic Governor Terrence McAuliffe of Virginia—ordering the removal of the “box” … Continue Reading

California Court Dismisses FCRA Class Action Against LinkedIn

Man using smartphoneIn recent years, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) has become the focus of increasing litigation.  By way of background, FCRA regulates consumer reporting agencies (CRAs) that assemble or evaluate “consumer reports” for employers on the “character, general reputation, personal characteristics, or mode of living” of prospective and current employees.  In the course of furnishing … Continue Reading

NYC Mayor Signs Law Banning Credit Checks

Yesterday, NYC Mayor Bill DeBlasio signed a bill (Int. 0261-2014) that amends the City’s Human Rights Law to prohibit most employers from inquiring into or considering a prospective or current employee’s credit history when making employment decisions. The law will take effect on September 3, 2015. As we detailed in our prior post, NYC’s new … Continue Reading

New Montana Law Protects Employee Social Media Accounts

Man using smartphoneYesterday, Montana became the twentieth state to enact a law protecting employees from employer interference with personal social media accounts.  The law, which takes effect immediately, prohibits employers from requiring or requesting that a current or prospective employee: disclose a username or password to his or her personal social media account; access a personal social … Continue Reading

Credit Checks To Be Banned in NYC

Yesterday, by a 47-3 vote, the New York City Council passed a bill (Int. 0261-2014) to amend the NYC Human Rights Law to prohibit most employers from inquiring into or considering a prospective or current employee’s credit history when making employment decisions. Mayor DeBlasio is expected to sign the bill into law. The bill expansively … Continue Reading

Hiring Tests in the News

A front page article in today’s Wall Street Journal highlights the growing use of pre-employment personality and psychological testing to screen job candidates.  These tests are designed to evaluate technical skills, ability to multitask, friendliness, customer service orientation, communication skills and the like.  New test designs are based on the traits of employers’ most successful … Continue Reading
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