Tag Archives: discrimination

City of Richmond Passes Ban the Box Ordinance Removing Question about Criminal History from Job Applications

The City Council of Richmond, Virginia has unanimously passed a ‘Ban the Box’ ordinance that would to eliminate the question asking job applicants about prior felony convictions on application forms for many city jobs, according to an article on the Richmond (VA) Times-Dispatch website. Continue reading

EEOC Commission Meeting on March 20 Focuses on Improving and Measuring Quality of Investigations

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission held a meeting on Wednesday, March 20, 2013 to develop the Quality Control Plan (QCP) called for in the EEOC’s 2012-2016 Strategic Plan to revise the criteria used to measure the quality of agency charge investigations and conciliations. Three roundtables – made up of EEOC front line staff, private employer and employee representatives, and EEOC managers – presented their views to develop a draft plan for Commission approval. A press release from the EEOC about the meeting is available at http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/3-21-13a.cfm. Continue reading

Ban the Box Legislation Introduced in New Jersey to Restrict Criminal History Questions for Employment

Legislation recently introduced in the New Jersey Senate – Senate Bill No. 2586, ‘The Opportunity to Compete Act’ (OCA) – would “ban the box” asking about criminal histories on job applications and restrict questions by employers about criminal records of current employees or applicants. The OCA would also prohibit employers in New Jersey from inquiring about the criminal history of job applicants until after a “conditional offer of employment” is made. The full text of Senate Bill No. 2586, ‘The Opportunity to Compete Act’ is available at http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/2012/Bills/S3000/2586_I1.PDF. Continue reading

New York City Passes Law Prohibiting Hiring Discrimination against Unemployed Job Applicants

The New York City Council has voted to override a veto by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to enact legislation – Intro 814-A – that prohibits employers from refusing to consider or hire qualified job applicants who are unemployed. The law prevents employers from using employment status in a hiring decision and from posting job ads that require applicants to be currently employed. The Council had originally passed the bill in January 2013 before the Mayor’s veto in February 2013. A press release from the New York City Council about the legislation is available at http://council.nyc.gov/html/pr/012213jobs.shtml. Continue reading

Rhode Island Bill would Ban the Box Asking about Criminal Records on Job Applications

In an effort to limit bias against job applicants with criminal histories, legislation to ‘ban the box’ that employers use on preliminary job applications to ask about past criminal records has been introduced in the State of Rhode Island General Assembly by Representative Scott Slater (D-Dist. 10, Providence), according to a press release available at http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/News/pr1.asp?prid=8903. Continue reading

Complaints to EEOC Allege National Retailer Discriminated against Job Applicants with Criminal Records

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the community group TakeAction Minnesota have accused a large national retailer of unfair hiring practices that allegedly discriminated against job applicants with criminal records in ten formal complaints filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). More information about this story is available on the Minneapolis (MN) Star Tribune website at http://www.startribune.com/business/192087561.html. Continue reading

New EEOC Criminal Record Guidance Subject of Session at SHRM Conference in Albuquerque on February 25

Attorney Lester Rosen, a safe hiring expert and founder and CEO of background check firm Employment Screening Resources (ESR), will present a session titled ‘Practical Steps to Comply with the New Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Criminal Record Guidance’ at the 2013 Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) NM Employment Law & Legislative Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico on Monday, February 25, 2013 from 2:00 PM to 3:15 PM MST. For more information and to register for the SHRM conference, visit http://www.shrmnm.org/2013_Legislative_Conference.aspx. Continue reading

DOL Office of Contract Compliance Programs Issues Directive on Use of Criminal Records for Background Checks

The Department of Labor’s (DOL) Office of Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has issued a new Directive on ‘Complying with Nondiscrimination Provisions: Criminal Record Restrictions and Discrimination Based on Race and National Origin.’ The OFCCP Directive advises federal contractors and subcontractors about potential discriminatory liability resulting from using criminal records for employment background checks and warns policies that exclude workers with criminal records without taking into account the age and nature of the offense could violate Title VII of the Civil Rights Act by adversely impacting minority candidates. The OFCCP Directive, which took effect immediately, is available at http://www.dol.gov/ofccp/regs/compliance/directives/dir306.htm. Continue reading

California Supreme Court Ruling on Discrimination Case Involving Mixed Motive May Impact Fair Employment and Housing Claims

On February 7, 2013, the California Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision in a case – Harris v. City of Santa Monica – that involved the “mixed motive” theory where the employer has both legitimate and discriminatory reasons for job actions such as termination and discipline. The Court ruled an employer can defeat an employee’s claim for damages in a discrimination case by proving with a preponderance of evidence it would have terminated the employee anyway for lawful reasons.  The ruling on Harris v. City of Santa Monica is available at http://www.courts.ca.gov/opinions/documents/S181004A.PDF. Continue reading

Kaplan Higher Learning Wins Summary Judgment in Nationwide Hiring Discrimination Lawsuit Filed by EEOC

Ending a two year dispute, Kaplan Higher Learning Education Corp. has won a summary judgment in a nationwide hiring discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) over Kaplan’s use of credit checks as part of its hiring process that the EEOC alleged violated Title VII due to an unlawful “disparate impact” on Black applicants. The full summary judgment in the case of EEOC vs. Kaplan is available at http://www.esrcheck.com/file/EEOCvsKaplan_SummaryJudgment.pdf. Continue reading