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State Laws

Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

Several new employment laws taking effect on New Year’s Day 2015 across the United States will affect employers in the coming year. A quick listing and brief description of just some of these new employment laws and practices involving employers taking effect on January 1, 2015 are listed below. For a listing of recent updates in state employment laws, visit

  • St. Petersburg FL to Ban the Box Starting New Year’s Day 2015 – Beginning New Year’s Day January 1, 2015, St. Petersburg, Florida will Ban the Box on job applications for the city that asks applicants if they have a criminal record, according to a report on The Ban the Box proposal does not eliminate background checks but delays the criminal history inquiries until later in the hiring process. The Ban the Box change will affect only city jobs and not private sector jobs. The Ban the Box policy also allows background checks for city jobs and mandates them for public safety positions to be reviewed later in the hiring process.
  • Illinois to Ban the Box Beginning New Year’s Day 2015 – Illinois passed legislation – HB 5701 (Job Opportunities for Qualified Applicants Act) – that will help ex-offenders find work in the private sector by preventing criminal background checks until after an applicant is deemed qualified for a job. The law takes effect New Year’s Day January 1, 2015. House Bill 5701 prohibits private employers or employment agencies in Illinois from asking about the criminal histories of applicants until they are deemed qualified and selected for interviews. The law does not apply to jobs where employers must exclude applicants with criminal histories.
  • Tennessee Privacy Act of 2014 Takes Effect New Year’s Day 2015 – Tennessee passed a password protection law – “Employee Online Privacy Act of 2014” (S.B. 1808) – that takes effect New Year’s Day January 1, 2015. The new law will prevent employers in the state with one or more employees from requiring employees and job applicants to disclose usernames and passwords for their personal internet accounts except under certain circumstances. Under the Act, employers cannot request or require employees or applicants to disclose personal Internet account passwords, add employers to personal contact lists, or access personal Internet accounts in the presence employers. Employers also cannot penalize employees or applicants for failure to disclose information.
  • E-Verify Ten-Year-Old Record Disposal Begins New Year’s Day 2015 – On January 1, 2015, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin disposing of E-Verify records over 10 years old in accordance with the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) records retention and disposal requirements (N 1-566-08-7) that mandate the disposal of E-Verify records after 10 years. E-Verify has created a new “Historic Records Report” that includes all transaction records for cases more than 10 years old. The report is only available from October 1, 2014 until December 31, 2014. In order to retain case information, E-Verify employers must download and save the new “Historic Records Report” before December 31, 2014. Employers not using E-Verify on or before December 31, 2004 need not download the Historic Records Report since there will be no records to report. For more information, read the USCIS Fact Sheet ‘E-Verify Records Retention and Disposal.’

Employment laws in the United States will become more fragmented as cities and states continue to pass their own legislation in 2015. This trend is number 3 on the Employment Screening Resources (ESR) 8th Annual ESR Top Ten Background Check Trends for 2015 selected by ESR Founder and CEO Attorney Lester Rosen. For the full list of trends, visit ESR will also present a complimentary webinar about the top ten background check trends for 2015 hosted by Rosen on Wednesday, January 21, 2015. To register, visit

ESR Closed on New Year’s Day

Employment Screening Resources (ESR) will be closed New Year’s Day on Thursday, January 1, 2015. ESR will be open Friday, January 2, 2015. For more information about ESR, please call Toll Free 888.999.4474 or visit



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