Tag Archives: State laws

Class Action Lawsuit over Background Checks for Rental Housing Tenants Settled for 150000 Dollars

A tenant screening company that background checks tenants for rental housing has agreed to pay $150,000 to settle a class action lawsuit over its screening practices, according to a report from the Associated Press (AP) on the Bloomberg Businessweek website. The complete report is available at http://www.businessweek.com/ap/2013-09-18/150k-settlement-in-lawsuit-over-background-checks. Continue reading

New Jersey Limits Ability of Employers to Access Social Media Accounts of Employees and Job Applicants

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has signed into law Assembly Bill A2878/S1915 that limits the ability of employers to require employees and job applicants to disclose user names, passwords, or other means for accessing social media accounts such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter or other services through electronic communications devices. The full text of New Jersey Assembly Bill A2878/S1915 – which takes effect December 1, 2013 – is available at http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/2012/Bills/A3000/2878_R4.PDF. Continue reading

New California Law Creates Consistent Criminal Background Check Policy for Volunteer Coaches in Youth Sports

California Governor Jerry Brown has signed a new law – Assembly Bill 465 (AB 465) – to help protect children who participate in community youth athletic programs from sexually abusive and violent individuals by creating a consistent criminal background check policy across the state for volunteer coaches in youth sports. A report in the Contra Costa (CA) Times about the signing of AB 465 is available at http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_23949088/governor-signs-bill-authorizing-criminal-background-checks-volunteer. Continue reading

Maine Revises State Fair Credit Reporting Act to be More Consistent with Federal FCRA

Maine Governor Paul LePage signed LD 1410 in June of 2013 to update the state’s consumer reporting law by adopting most of the provisions of the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), 15 United States Code, Section 1681 et seq., as amended. LD 1410 incorporates the federal fair credit reporting laws into state law while preserving enhanced protections found in current state law in Maine. The full text of LD 1410 is available at http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/bills/bills_126th/billtexts/SP050401.asp. 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

Rhode Island Enacts Ban the Box Law Limiting Ability of Employers to Ask About Criminal History

The state of Rhode Island has enacted a “Ban the Box” law – Senate Bill 357 (SB 357) – that will prohibit inquiries on employment applications regarding prior 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 was signed by Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee on July 16, 2013 and will take effect on January 1, 2014 – is available at http://openstates.org/ri/bills/2013/SB357/. 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

E-Verify Must Be Used by Most Employers in Georgia and North Carolina by July 1

On July 1, 2013, the final phase of laws passed in Georgia and North Carolina – Georgia House Bill 87, the “Illegal Immigration Reform and Enforcement Act of 2011” and North Carolina Session Law 2011-263 House Bill 36 – take effect and mandate the use of E-Verify for most private companies in those states. Georgia employers with more than ten employees and North Carolina employers with more than twenty five employees must begin using the E-Verify employment eligibility verification program to check work authorization for all new hires. For more information about E-Verify, visit http://www.dhs.gov/e-verify. Continue reading

Starting July 1 New Colorado Law Specifies Permissible Use of Credit Reports by Employers

A new law passed by the Colorado General Assembly that takes effect July 1, 2013 – SB13-018, the “Employment Opportunity Act” – will specify the permissible use of credit reports by employers. The Act outlines the purposes for which consumer credit information such as consumer credit reports and credit scores can be used by private sector employers or potential employers with four or more employees in making employment-related decisions. More information about the Employment Opportunity Act is available at http://www.coloradocapitolwatch.com/bill/0/SB13-018/2013/1/. 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