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Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

Background Checks & Legal ComplianceA panel of three legal experts will present a live 90 minute Continuing Legal Education (CLE) webinar to examine the legal risks employers face when conducting background checks and discuss the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Guidance on then use of criminal records for hiring decisions. The webinar will take place on Wednesday, July 23, 2014 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. EDT/ 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. PDT. For more information, visit

The panel of experts – who will provide guidance on the legal pitfalls of background checks and show how to structure hiring policies that minimize liability exposure – include:

  • Pamela Q. Devata, Partner, Seyfarth Shaw, Chicago, IL: Ms. Devata specializes in all aspects of employment defense including counseling, training, and litigation and also has a special emphasis on the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and state laws effecting background checks.
  • Cindy D. Hanson, Partner, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton, Atlanta, GA: Ms. Hanson focuses her practice on complex commercial litigation and class action defense and has handled hundreds of matters under the FCRA.
  • Lester S. Rosen, Founder and CEO, Employment Screening Resources (ESR), Novato, CA: Mr. Rosen is author of ‘The Safe Hiring Manual’ and a frequent presenter nationwide on issues surrounding background checks for ‘ESR Speaks.’ He has qualified and testified as an employment screening expert on due diligence.

On April 25, 2012, the EEOC – which enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination – issued ‘Enforcement Guidance on the Consideration of Arrest and Conviction Records in Employment Decisions Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964’ to help employers understand criminal background checks. In March 2014, the EEOC and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released a joint publication ‘Background Checks: What Employers Need to Know’ to explain how compliance with the FCRA and anti-discrimination laws intersect when employers use employment background checks.

When performing background checks, employers must balance avoiding negligent hiring and retention claims against the legal rights job applicants have under federal and state laws that include Title VII and the FCRA. Employers must consider whether the benefits of obtaining background checks outweigh potential liability for violating employment laws, and also develop effective and compliant screening policies. The panel of Devata, Hanson, and Rosen will review these and other key questions such as:

  • How have employers responded to the EEOC’s recent clarification and additional guidance issued on criminal background checks?
  • How can businesses balance their duty to conduct due diligence background checks on applicants against their duty not to discriminate in employment decisions?
  • What are the best practices for employers when developing and implementing policies for the use of credit records, criminal histories, and social networking sites in hiring decisions?

This Continuing Legal Education (CLE) webinar is presented by Strafford Publications and is eligible for at least 1.5 general CLE credits and CLE credit processing can be ordered before or after the program, depending on state rules. For more information about Employment Screening Resources® (ESR), please visit, call Toll Free 888.999.4474, or email [email protected].



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