Law and the Workplace

Category Archives: Hiring/Background Checks

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Massachusetts Passes Pay Equity Bill Restricting Employers From Inquiring Into Applicants’ Wage History

Massachusetts has passed an amendment to the state’s equal pay law aimed at strengthening prohibitions on gender discrimination in the payment of wages for comparable work. The new bill, signed by Governor Charlie Baker (R) this week and effective starting in July 2018, provides a definition of “comparable work” for purposes of analyzing pay equity … Continue Reading

Connecticut and Vermont to Ban the Box in 2017

Job ApplicationBeginning in 2017, Connecticut and Vermont will become the eight and ninth states to “ban the box” for private employers: Connecticut Effective January 1, 2017, Connecticut employers will be prohibited from requesting criminal history information on an initial application form.  Exceptions apply if: the employer is required by federal or state law to inquire about criminal … Continue Reading

Philadelphia, PA Bans Use of Credit Information in Employment Decisions

Job ApplicationEffective as of July 7, 2016, amendments to the Philadelphia, PA Fair Practices Ordinance make it an unlawful discriminatory practice for an employer to procure, seek to procure, or use an applicant’s or employee’s credit information in connection with making any decisions relating to an individual’s hire, discharge, tenure, promotion, discipline, or in consideration of … Continue Reading

Austin, TX Becomes Latest City to Ban the Box for Private Employers

Job ApplicationAustin, Texas recently became the latest city to “ban the box” for private employers.  Under the new law, Austin employers with 15 or more employees may not require an applicant to disclose his or her criminal history prior to extending a conditional offer of employment.  The law defines “conditional employment offer” as an offer “that … Continue Reading

Louisiana Legislature Passes “Ban the Box” for State Employers

Louisiana is anticipated to become the latest state to enact state-wide protections for applicants with criminal backgrounds under the well-known “ban the box” movement. The bill, HB 266, recently passed both houses of the Louisiana Legislature and is currently awaiting approval from Governor John Bel Edwards, who is expected to sign the bill into law. … Continue Reading

Proskauer Releases Survey Results on Value Insights: Delivering Value in Labor and Employment Law

Proskauer’s Labor and Employment Law Department is pleased to announce the release of its inaugural Value Insights: Delivering Value in Labor and Employment Law survey, a resource that includes input from in-house decision makers on labor and employment matters and provides in-house counsel with tools to both more effectively help their business partners achieve their objectives … Continue Reading

Overview of Proposed Fair Chance Act Rules

NYC Commission on Human RightsAs mentioned in our recent post, the New York City Commission on Human Rights is proposing to amend its rules to establish various definitions and clarify certain requirements under the Fair Chance Act.  Key aspects of the proposed rules include the following: Applicability of the Fair Chance Act Post-Hire:  “Applicants” are defined to include both … Continue Reading

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
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