Louisiana Law Affects Employers Conducting Background Checks on Applicants

Criminal Background Check

Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

The state of Louisiana has passed a law – Act No. 406 (HB 707) – that affects businesses conducting background checks on applicants before offering them a job by prohibiting employers from requesting or considering an arrest record or charge that did not result in a conviction when a background check reveals that information.

Act No. 406 – which took effect on August 1, 2021 – also addresses consideration of other criminal history records by employers, requiring them to individually assess the criminal histories of applicants and determine if there is a direct and adverse relationship with the specific duties of the job to deny them the position.

During the “individualized assessment,” employers must apply three factors known as the “Green Factors” after being identified in the case Green v. Missouri Pacific Railroad: (1) the nature and gravity of the offense or conduct, (2) the time that has elapsed since the offense, conduct, or conviction, and (3) the nature of the job sought.

In addition, Act No. 406 authorizes applicants to obtain any background checks used by employers in their hiring decisions upon written request. As a result of these changes, employers in Louisiana who conduct background checks may want to familiarize themselves with the Act and update their hiring policies and practices if needed.

In 2012, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which enforces federal laws prohibiting workplace 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 consolidate previous guidance.

The EEOC Guidance contains more information about the “individualized assessment” and the “Green Factors” to help employers with the use of criminal records. The EEOC enforces Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.

In 2013, some civil and workers’ rights organizations released a report – “Best Practice Standards: The Proper Use of Criminal Records in Hiring” – for employers using background checks. Attorney Lester Rosen, founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of Employment Screening Resources® (ESR), helped to develop the standards.

Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – a leading global provider of background checks that was named the #1 screening service by HRO Today in 2020 – offers fast, accurate, affordable, and compliant background checks to help employers make informed hiring decisions. To learn more about ESR, visit www.esrcheck.com.

NOTE: Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) does not provide or offer legal services or legal advice of any kind or nature. Any information on this website is for educational purposes only.

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