Tag Archives: State laws

Minnesota Extends Ban the Box Provision Removing Criminal Record Question from Job Applications to Private Sector Hiring

Governor Mark Dayton of Minnesota has signed into law Senate File 523 (SF 523) that will eliminate the checkmark box asking about criminal history on most job applications and limit private sector employers in the state from asking about criminal records of job applicants until an interview or a conditional job offer. The new law extends the “Ban the Box” provision that currently exists in public employment to private employers. For more information about SF 523 – which will take effect on January 1, 2014 – visit https://www.revisor.mn.gov/bills/bill.php?b=House&f=SF0523&ssn=0&y=2013. Continue reading

New California Case Underscores Employers Confidential and Privacy Obligations Regarding Employment Screening Background Reports

A new California privacy case underscores the need for employers to respect the privacy of job applicants and maintain confidentially, regardless of whether information is shared in written form or in conversation. Although the case did not involve background checks, it concerned discussion of an employee’s personal medical condition with co-workers. The case is Ignat vs. YUM! Brands, Inc. filed March 18, 2013 for the California Fourth Appellate District. Continue reading

Minnesota Ban the Box Bill Regarding Criminal Records of Job Applicants Sent to Governor for Signature

A “Ban the Box” bill approved by the Minnesota House – SF 523 – would prevent private employers in the state from asking about the criminal history of job applicants until an interview or a conditional job offer. The bill has now been presented to Governor Mark Dayton for his signature, according to a report from the Star Tribune available at http://www.startribune.com/politics/statelocal/206699841.html. Continue reading

Texas Bill Seeks to Prevent Private Criminal History Database Companies from Reporting Expunged Records

Legislation pending in in the state of Texas – Senate Bill 990 (SB 990) – would prevent private companies that compile criminal history information in a database that is available in a searchable format from maintaining or sharing information about expunged records once they have received notice that the record has been expunged. The bill also seeks to create a listing of database companies so that notices of expungements can be directed to those who might have outdated information. More information about Texas Senate Bill 990 is available at http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=83R&Bill=SB990. Continue reading

Maryland Becomes Latest State to Ban the Box Asking Questions about Criminal History from Job Applications

With the signing Senate Bill 4 (SB 4) by Governor Martin O’Malley, Maryland became the ninth U.S. state to “Ban the Box” and remove questions about criminal history from state job applications while also postponing questions about criminal records of applicants until later in the hiring process.  SB 4 removes the criminal history question from state applications and defers the background check to later in the hiring process. To read SB 4, visit http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/2013RS/bills/sb/sb0004E.pdf. Continue reading

Colorado Employment Opportunity Act Specifies Permissible Use of Credit Reports by Employers Starting July 1

Governor of Colorado John Hickenlooper has signed into law a bill passed by the Colorado General Assembly – SB13-018, the “Employment Opportunity Act” – that specifies 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”, which takes effect July 1, 2013, is available at http://www.coloradocapitolwatch.com/bill/0/SB13-018/2013/1/. Continue reading

More than 300 South Carolina Businesses Cited for E-Verify Violations

South Carolina state labor department officials have cited 323 businesses for violating a 2011 law requiring employers to use the federal E-Verify employment eligibility verification system to determine if newly hired employees can work legally in the United States, according to a report on The State website. Less than 10 percent of companies that were part of first year of mandatory immigration checks failed to comply with the law. The article is available at http://www.thestate.com/2013/03/25/2693045/more-than-300-sc-companies-cited.html. Continue reading

Access to Public Court Records in California Threatened by Proposed Search Fee in Trailer Bill

In a move that could significantly limit access to public court records, a trailer bill written by the California Administrative Office of the Courts proposes to charge a $10 fee on nearly every court file requested by members of the general public – including journalists and court researchers who review a large amount of files for news stories and background checks – according to an article on the Courthouse News Service website. The article is available at http://www.courthousenews.com/2013/03/13/55701.htm. 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

Social Networking Online Protection Act would Prevent Employers and Schools from Requiring Usernames and Passwords

Legislation currently in Congress – H. R. 537, the Social Networking Online Protection Act (SNOPA) – would enhance social media privacy by protecting users of social networking sites from having to divulge personal information such as usernames and passwords to employers and schools. Re-introduced by Congressman Eliot Engel (D-NY-16), Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (D-IL-9), and Congressman Michael Grimm (R-NY-11), SNOPA would protect employees, job applicants, students, and people facing disciplinary action from being required to give information used to access online accounts. The full text of the SNOPA legislation is available at http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/113/hr537/text. Continue reading