In a decision that follows more than a decade of litigation, a federal Court in Michigan has sanctioned the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) – the agency of the U.S. Government that enforces federal employment discrimination laws – and awarded the target of an EEOC gender discrimination investigation, Cintas Corporation, $2,638,443.93 in attorneys’ fees, costs, and expenses. The Court’s opinion on EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION v. CINTAS CORPORATION is available at: http://www.workplaceclassaction.com/EEOCCintas8_11.pdf. Continue reading
A recent case in central Florida involving a hotel worker who was an ex-offender with a long criminal past being accused of raping a guest demonstrates in graphic detail the need for criminal background checks by employers. According to a report from NBC affiliate WESH Channel 2 News in Orlando, the woman reported to police that an employee who lived and worked at the hotel where she was staying used his master key to break into her room in the middle of the night and rape her while she begged him to stop. In the story, the Florida Department of Corrections reported the accused man – who police said faces charges of sexual battery and burglary – had a long history of criminal activity “with about seven trips to state prison” and was most recently released in 2009. Continue reading
Attorney and safe hiring expert Lester Rosen, CEO of nationwide background check company Employment Screening Resources (ESR), has submitted a letter for public comment to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) – the Government agency that enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination – after the Commission recently held a public meeting on July 26, 2011 that examined the use by employers of arrest and conviction records for criminal background checks to determine if the practice was an unfair and discriminatory hiring barrier to jobseeking ex-offenders. The Commission had held open the July 26 meeting record for 15 days and invited members of the public to submit written comments on any issue or matters discussed at the meeting. The letter in its entirety is available at http://www.esrcheck.com/EEOC-and-the-Use-of-Criminal-Records-for-Employment.php. Continue reading
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