Tag Archives: Criminal records

Safe Hiring Expert to Discuss Use of Criminal Convictions in Employment at 2013 ABA Annual Meeting in San Francisco

Attorney Lester S. Rosen, Founder and CEO of background check firm Employment Screening Resources® (ESR), will discuss the ‘Use of Criminal Convictions in Employment’ on Friday, August 9, 2013 for the Section of Labor and Employment Law at the 2013 American Bar Association (ABA) Annual Meeting in San Francisco, CA. The panel discussion will take place from 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM PST in Moscone Center West, Room 3007, Third Floor. For more information about the Section of Labor and Employment Law at the 2013 ABA Annual Meeting, visit http://www.americanbar.org/groups/labor_law/events_cle/abalel_annual.html. Continue reading

Richmond CA Passes Ban the Box Ordinance Restricting Criminal Background Checks by Employers

A new “Ban the Box” ordinance passed by the City Council of Richmond, California by a 6-1 vote will prohibit private businesses contracting for work with the city “from asking about prior criminal convictions on employment applications” and even “inquiring into the criminal history of an applicant” in some cases, according to a report on the Contra Costa Times website. The report about the “Ban the Box” ordinance, which expands on a 2011 law that removed the question about past criminal convictions from city job applications, is available at http://www.contracostatimes.com/news/ci_23724315/richmond-passes-sweeping-new-restrictions-criminal-background-checks. Continue reading

FBI Background Checks for Employment Containing Inaccurate Information Can Cost Applicants Jobs

Employers that use Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) criminal databases to background check job applicants could be basing employment decisions on inaccurate information that can cost applicants job opportunities, according to an article in The Washington Post available at http://wapo.st/17cC0Kn. Continue reading

Ban the Box Movement Limiting Criminal History Questions on Job Applications Spreads Across US

More cities and states are joining the “Ban the Box” movement limiting questions employers may ask about criminal records on job applications. In June 2013, Rhode Island become the latest state to enact a “Ban the Box” law when it passed Senate Bill 357 (SB 357) to limit inquiries on employment applications regarding past criminal convictions except when federal or state law specifically disqualifies a person from employment due to a prior conviction or authorizes such inquiries. The full text of SB 357 – which will take effect on January 1, 2014 – is available at http://openstates.org/ri/bills/2013/SB357/. Continue reading

EEOC Guidance on Criminal Records Focuses on Employment Discrimination during Background Checks

In April 2012, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) – the agency that enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination – voted to update the Enforcement Guidance on the Consideration of Arrest and Conviction Records in Employment Decisions Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The updated Guidance, which focuses on employment discrimination based on race and national origin, is available at http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/guidance/arrest_conviction.cfm. Continue reading

New Indiana Law Allowing Expungement of Old Criminal Records Takes Effect July 1

A new law in Indiana that takes effect July 1, 2013 – Indiana House Enrolled Act No. 1482 – will allow state residents to have certain old criminal records “expunged” or erased by the courts and could create job opportunities for ex-offenders. Signed into law by Governor Mike Pence in May 2013, this “second chance” law applies to both employers based in Indiana and those who hire workers in the state. The full text of the new law is available at http://www.in.gov/legislative/bills/2013/HE/HE1482.1.html. Continue reading

EEOC Chair Says Criminal Background Checks by Employers Not Banned

In a letter to the Wall Street Journal responding to the June 15, 2013 article ‘Banning Background Checks,’ Jacqueline A. Berrien, Chair of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), denied the article’s suggestion that the EEOC believes criminal background checks by employers are “racist” and that the agency wants to ban the practice. The letter to the Wall Street Journal from Chair Berrien is available at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323893504578555722405188406.html. Continue reading

New Texas Law Protects Employers Performing Background Checks and Encourages Employment of Ex-Offenders

A new law in Texas – H.B. 1188 – signed by Governor Rick Perry on June 14, 2013 will amend the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code so that “a cause of action may not be brought against an employer, general contractor, premises owner, or other third party solely for negligently hiring or failing to adequately supervise an employee, based on evidence that the employee has been convicted of an offense.” More information about Texas H.B. 1188, which will become effective on September 1, 2013, is available at http://www.legis.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=83R&Bill=HB1188. Continue reading

EEOC Sends Message to Employers that Criminal Records of Job Applicants Must Be Used Carefully

In the Wall Street Journal article ‘Employment Checks Fuel Race Complaints,’ Attorney Lester Rosen, Founder and CEO of background check company Employment Screening Resources® (ESR), says the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has been delivering the same message to employers since the 1980s: “Criminal records need to be used carefully, not with brute force, more as a surgical instrument.” The article, which catalogues the increased scrutiny of background checks by the EEOC, is available at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323495604578539283518855020.html. Continue reading

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Files Lawsuits against Two Employers for Use of Criminal Background Checks

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has filed lawsuits against two employers alleging they violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act by implementing and utilizing a criminal background check policy that resulted in employees being fired or screened out for employment. A press release about the lawsuits – the first enforcement action against employers under the revised EEOC Guidance for using criminal records – is available at http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/6-11-13.cfm. Continue reading