With a bill (H.R. 2501) already introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives and support in Congress building to end discrimination against unemployed jobseekers, Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut), Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-New York), and Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) have sponsored the ‘Fair Employment Opportunity Act of 2011’ (S. 1471) that would bar employers and employment agencies from screening out or excluding job applicants solely because they are out of work, according to a press release from the National Employment Law Project (NELP), a national advocacy organization for employment rights of lower-wage and unemployed workers. Continue reading
The City and County of San Francisco Human Rights Commission (HRC) will host a public forum on the use of criminal history by employers for employment screening on Monday, July 25, 2011 to consider enacting limitations on the use of criminal records by making job applicants with criminal pasts – excluding sex offenders and those convicted of violent crimes – a “protected” class when looking for work, according to a July 2011 HRC memo. For more information about the forum, which will take place from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. PT in Room 400 of San Francisco City Hall, visit the SF HRC website at http://www.sfgov.org/sfhumanrights.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) – the agency of the United States Government that enforces the federal employment discrimination laws – will hold a meeting focusing on the use of criminal records for employment screening background checks on Tuesday, July 26, in Washington, D.C., according to the EEOC website.
The NAPBS, a non-profit trade association representing the interests of companies offering employment background screening, believes the July 26th meeting “could be a critical step in the Commission’s adoption of policies that could significantly impact how employers use criminal background checks for employment purposes.”
What are the practical and legal considerations for employers that use criminal records and credit reports for applicant selection? This is the fifth and final installment of the Employment Screening Resources (ESR) Background Check Trends of 2011 Review features the number two trend, using criminal records, and the number one top ranked background check trend of the year, the use of job applicant credit reports. To view previous installments of the 2011 ESR Background Check Trends Review, visit Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4.
- Number 2 ESR Background Check Trend for 2011: Questions about Criminal Records of Job Applicants Become More Difficult for Employers to Ask.
- Number 1 ESR Background Check Trend for 2011: Controversy over Whether Employers Using Credit Reports for Employment Screening is Discriminatory Increases.
In an effort to bar discrimination against unemployed job seekers in New York state, Senate Bill 5316 (SB 5316) – proposed by Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins (35th District- D/WF/I) – would make the unemployed a “protected class” in New York and make it illegal for employers to deny out-of-work applicants an interview or position solely because they are jobless. In addition, SB 5316 would prohibit employers from posting job advertisements that discourage the unemployed from applying to vacant positions, according to a press release on the Senator’s website. Continue reading
The number of Americans job seekers with criminal histories is larger than ever before and includes nearly 65 million people – over one in four U.S. adults – due to increased enforcement for nonviolent crimes like drug offenses and the release of more than 700,000 people from prisons each year, according to criminal justice experts quoted in a recent New York Times article ‘Internet Lets a Criminal Past Catch Up Quicker.’ As a result, U.S. employers will need to ensure compliance with federal, state, and even city guidelines concerning the use of criminal records when performing employment screening background checks. Continue reading
While only four U.S. states – Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, and most recently Illinois – currently have laws limiting or prohibiting credit checks by employers on job applicants and employees, lawmakers in many U.S. states are currently proposing legislation restricting the use of credit reports for employment screening background checks.
In all, lawmakers in 18 U.S. states are considering bills that limit the use of credit report data for employment screening. These states include: California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Vermont. Continue reading
In a decision ending over three years of litigation, a federal court in Michigan recently sanctioned the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) – the agency of the U.S. Government that enforces the federal employment discrimination laws – and ordered the EEOC to pay $751,942.48 for attorneys fees, expert fees, and court costs to a private employer, PeopleMark, Inc., a staffing company headquartered in Kentucky. Continue reading
According to a new study by the National Employment Law Project (NELP), since nearly 65 million people in the United States – more than one in four adults – are estimated to have criminal records, employers that use criminal background checks for employment to shut out job applicants with criminal records without considering how long ago the offense occurred, the nature of the offense, and whether the offense is job-related, have prevented millions of people from finding work and compromised the economy and public safety. Continue reading
A story in The Detroit News reports that members of the growing ‘Ban the Box’ Coalition, who persuaded the Detroit City Council to bar the question asking applicants about their criminal histories – and check a box if they have any convictions – from employment applications last year, have asked to extend the ban on inquiring about felony convictions on applications to city vendors and contractors. Continue reading