Law and the Workplace

Tag Archives: employment applications

[Podcast]: Laws Governing Background Checks for Employers

In this episode of The Proskauer Brief, senior counsel Harris Mufson and associate Michelle Gyves discuss the main laws governing background checks for employers. We will discuss how employers can utilize the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) to conduct pre-employment background checks on candidates. In addition to FCRA, we also discuss how “ban the box” and credit check … Continue Reading

Philadelphia Delays Implementation of Ordinance Restricting Employer Inquiries Into Applicants’ Salary History Following Legal Challenge

Philadelphia has indefinitely delayed implementation of its new ordinance that that will make it unlawful for employers to inquire into an applicant’s wage history during the hiring process. As we previously reported, the law was scheduled to take effect on May 23, 2017.  However, on April 6, 2017, the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia … Continue Reading

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“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

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

Virginia Governor’s Order “Encourages” Private Employers to “Ban the Box”

Last week, Virginia Governor Terrence McAuliffe signed an executive order “banning the box” on most state employment applications and “encouraging” private employers and government contractors to do the same.  “Ban the box” refers to a legislative and executive trend across the country requiring or encouraging employers to delete the “check box” on job applications asking … Continue Reading

Hawaii Supreme Court Says Employer Failed to Establish “Rational Relationship” Between Applicant’s Drug Conviction and Position Sought

Hawaii, like some other states, only permits employers to consider convictions that bear a “rational relationship to the duties and responsibilities of the position.” Recently, the Hawaii Supreme Court had occasion to decide an issue that few other courts have addressed—the relationship of an applicant’s drug conviction to the job sought. In Shimose v. Hawaii … Continue Reading

NJ “Ban the Box” Law Takes Effect, “Draft Rule” Proposed

New Jersey’s so-called “ban the box” law took effect on March 1, preventing most employers in the State from asking about a prospective employee’s criminal history on the initial job application and until after the first interview of the candidate has taken place.  For more on the new law, please review our prior client alert. … Continue Reading

Georgia “Ban the Box” Policy Crosses Geographic, Political Divides

Republican Governor Nathan Deal signed an executive order this past week adopting a “ban the box” policy for “government entities of the State of Georgia,” making Georgia the first Southern state and only the second “red state” to remove criminal history inquiries from state job applications. The Georgia order not only “bans the box” but … Continue Reading

New Michigan Law Expands the Types of Criminal Records Applicants & Employees Can Refuse to Disclose to Employers

Existing Michigan law has served to prevent private employers from considering criminal records “set aside” by law (more commonly known as expungement) in hiring and personnel decisions. An amendment to that law, which took effect on January 12, expands the circumstances under which ex-offenders may seek to set aside their criminal records and, thus, may further … Continue Reading

Illinois and Chicago “Ban the Box” Laws Take Effect

Illinois’ and Chicago’s “ban the box” laws took effect on January 1.  Both laws prohibit private employers from making criminal inquiries until after an applicant has been notified of his or her selection for an interview (where the employer does not conduct an interview, it must wait until after making a conditional offer).  The two … Continue Reading

The Top 10 Trends in New Jersey Employment Law in 2014

2014 was another busy year for developments in New Jersey employment law, including in ten key areas—whistleblowing, pre-employment inquiries/background checks, amendments to the Law Against Discrimination (“LAD”), LAD litigation, wage and hour, the Family Medical Leave Act, sick leave, states of emergency, arbitration, and “unemployment discrimination.”  Read our Top 10 newsletter to learn more about … Continue Reading

Background Checks Headline in 2014

In 2014, background checks were a hot topic in state and local legislatures.  Before this year, only 8 jurisdictions in the country had passed laws preventing private employers from asking job candidates about their criminal histories on an employment application (i.e., “banning the box”).  This year alone, however, 9 jurisdictions enacted ban-the-box laws covering private … Continue Reading
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