Effective October 1, 2011, a new law in Connecticut – Senate Bill No. 361 (S.B. 361) – signed by Governor Dannel Malloy will prohibit certain employers from using credit reports in making hiring and employment decisions regarding existing employees or job applicants. The law applies to all employers in Connecticut with at least one employee. Connecticut is one of six U.S. states – joining Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Oregon, and Washington – that currently prohibit the use of credit history in employment decisions.
A case decided by the California Supreme Court on June 23, 2011 graphically demonstrates the difference between allegations of negligent hiring as opposed to “vicarious” liability where an employer has direct responsibility for the acts of an employee. Continue reading
A new law in Alabama signed by Republican Governor Robert Bentley would require employers to use the now-voluntary federal employment eligibility verification system known as E-Verify to ensure that newly hired employees are legally eligible to work in the United States and would also authorize the revocation of business licenses for companies that employ illegal workers. All Alabama employers, both public and private, must begin using E-Verify when hiring new employees no later than April 2012. Continue reading
A bill in California – AB 22 – sponsored by Assemblymember Tony Mendoza (D-56th District) that would ban the use of credit report background checks by employers during the hiring process has passed in the State Assembly with a vote of 45 to 29 and now heads to the Senate Labor and Industrial Relations Committee. Mendoza’s earlier attempts at similar legislation in the past – AB 482 (2010) and AB 943 (2009) – were both vetoed by former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Continue reading
The New York State Senate has passed a bill – S5171B – sponsored by State Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (R-Merrick) that would require all bus drivers to submit to criminal background checks in order to improve safety for bus passengers following several bus crashes caused by dangerous bus drivers with histories of criminal driving convictions. The legislation has been sent to the Assembly for consideration. Continue reading
A recent article from the HR Daily Advisor – ‘Which State Laws Make FCRA Just That Much Harder?’ – featured Attorney Lester Rosen, CEO of accredited background screening company Employment Screening Resources (ESR), who advised employers to follow state rules for the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) as part of the steps for FCRA compliance he offered at the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Employment Law and Legislative Conference, held recently in Washington, DC. Continue reading
The State Senates of Louisiana and Pennsylvania have overwhelmingly passed legislation – Louisiana Senate Bill 66 and Pennsylvania Senate Bill 637 – that would require state contractors to use the government’s E-Verify electronic employment eligibility verification system to verify that the workers they hire are legally eligible to work in the United States. Both bills now head to the Houses in their respective states for consideration. Continue reading
Joining four other U.S. states – Hawaii, Illinois, Oregon, and Washington – prohibiting the use of credit information by employers, Maryland has enacted new legislation placing restrictions on so-called credit checks by employers that use the credit report or credit history of job applicants or employees for employment decisions. The law, known as the ‘Job Applicant Fairness Act,’ was signed by Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley in April of 2011 and will take effect on October 1, 2011. Continue reading
A newly released legislative report from the California Senate Office of Oversight and Outcomes found that residents of California – one of six U.S. states that do not regulate private in-home caregivers – may risk hiring private in-home caregivers who have criminal backgrounds and suggests that the elderly population in the state may suffer theft and abuse as a result of the lack of regulation for private in-home caregivers.
The report – ‘Caregiver Roulette: California Fails to Screen those who Care for the Elderly at Home’ – revealed that more than a quarter of caregivers accused or convicted of crimes had committed prior criminal offenses and warned that many private in-home caregiver agencies did not conduct proper background checks on potential caregivers. Continue reading
Joining a growing list of cities and states imposing restrictions on employer inquires into criminal record history, the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania has passed legislation that restricts employer inquiries into, and use of, criminal record history information.
On April 13, 2011, Mayor Michael Nutter signed Philadelphia Bill 110111-A, the Fair Criminal Record Screening Standards Act, which prohibits employers from including criminal record history questions on an employment application and from making personnel decisions based on records of an arrest that did not result in a conviction. Continue reading