Tag Archives: State laws

New York Social Security Number Protection Law Amendment Allows Employers to Request SSN for Background Checks

New York law signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo in August 2012 that amended the state’s 2008 Social Security Number Protection Law has caused some concern for New York employers conducting background checks. However, a review of the law demonstrates that when it comes to background checks conducted under the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and state law, the law does not impede an employer’s ability to utilize a Social Security number (SSN). Continue reading

Legislation to Prevent Employers from Requesting Social Media Passwords Introduced or Pending in 28 States

At least 28 states have legislation that has been introduced or is pending in 2013 to prevent employers from requesting usernames and passwords to various social media and personal Internet accounts of employees and job applicants to get or keep a job, according the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). A list of legislation regarding employer access to social media information as of February 15, 2013 is available on the NCSL website at http://www.ncsl.org/issues-research/telecom/employer-access-to-social-media-passwords-2013.aspx. 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

FTC Study on Credit Report Accuracy Finds One in Five Consumers has Error on Their Credit Reports

A Federal Trade Commission (FTC) study of accuracy in the U.S. credit reporting industry has found that one in five consumers – an estimated 40 million Americans, according to a ‘60 Minutes’ report on the FTC study – had an error on at least one of their three major credit reports while five percent had significant errors on one of their credit reports that could result in less favorable terms for auto loans and insurance. The full text of the FTC report is available at http://www.ftc.gov/os/2013/02/130211factareport.pdf. Continue reading

Legislation Introduced in Rhode Island Would Establish E-Verify Compliance Chapter in State Law

Rhode Island Representative Peter G. Palumbo (D-Dist. 16, Cranston) has introduced legislation – (2013-H5236) – that would establish an E-Verify Compliance chapter in state law requiring all employers in the state to participate in the federal program, according to a press release from Representative Palumbo. The legislation would require employers with 200 or more employees to use E-Verify no later than January 1, 2014, while employers with between 50 and 200 workers would have until July 1, 2014 and employers of 50 or fewer workers would have until January 1, 2015 to comply. To read the full version of (2013-H5236), visit http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/BillText13/HouseText13/H5236.pdf. Continue reading

State of Oregon Regulations on Background Checks Demonstrate Increasing Recognition of NAPBS Accreditation for Employment Screening Firms

The state of Oregon has specified in the Oregon Administrative Rules (OAR) that all background screening firms must be accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) or pass certain other requirements in order to conduct a criminal background check for certain health workers. The Oregon Administrative Rules are available at http://arcweb.sos.state.or.us/pages/rules/oars_300/oar_333/333_536.html. Continue reading

Georgia Department of Agriculture Failed To Use E-Verify for Employment Eligibility Verification

An audit has revealed that the Georgia Department of Agriculture failed to register to use the federal E-Verify electronic employment eligibility verification system until April of 2012 to check if newly hired employees were eligible to work in the United States when use of the database was required by state law of public employers since 2007, according to a report by the Associated Press (AP). The story from AP is available at http://www.gpb.org/news/2013/01/05/dept-of-agriculture-failed-to-use-e-verify. Continue reading

Ohio Attorney General to Warn Employers about Criminal Background Check Law

To avoid a false sense of security about job applicants during employment screening, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine plans to warn employers in the state that criminal background checks processed by his office under a new law will only include information about convictions and guilty pleas and will not include arrests and charges that did not result in convictions, the Associated Press (AP) reports. The full AP story is available at http://www.marionstar.com/viewart/20130116/NEWS01/301160002/Ohio-AG-advises-employers-about-background-checks. Continue reading

Massachusetts Authorizes National Fingerprint Based Criminal Background Checks on All Teachers and School Employees

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick has signed a bill – H4307, “An Act Relative to Background Checks” – that closes an existing criminal history background checks loophole by authorizing the Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) and school districts to conduct national fingerprint-based criminal history background checks on all teachers, school employees, and early education providers in the state. To read the full text of Bill H4307, visit http://www.malegislature.gov/Bills/187/House/H04307. Continue reading

New York Elder Care Facility Sex Offender Law would Require Background Checks of Senior Caregivers

Proposed legislation in New York for an “Elder Care Facility Sex Offender Law” would require senior care facilities to conduct criminal background checks for all employees using the state’s sex offender registry to prevent registered sex offenders from gaining employment. More information about the proposed bill from New York State Assemblyman Jim Tedisco (R,C,I-Glenville) and New York State Senator Kathy Marchione (R,C-Halfmoon), which would close a current loophole in the law, is available in a news release at http://www.marchione2012.com/2013/01/04/tedisco-marchione-call-for-elder-care-facility-sex-offender-law/. Continue reading