San Francisco’s Amended Fair Chance Ordinance Takes Effect with Updated Notice Requirements

On October 1, 2018, San Francisco’s amendments to its Fair Chance Ordinance (FCO) took effect. The FCO is San Francisco’s “ban the box” equivalent that regulates employers’ use of applicants’ and employees’ arrest and conviction information.

EEOC Reminds Employers of the Importance of Targeted Screening and Individualized Assessment Processes

On September 24, 2018, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) reaffirmed the importance of following its 2012 enforcement guidance on employer use of criminal history information—specifically the EEOC’s targeted screening process and individualized assessment process–when it announced a voluntary agreement with large furniture retailer Rooms To Go.

CFPB Issues New Background Check Summary of Rights Form With Imminent Effective Date

On September 12, 2018, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued an interim final rule updating its A Summary of Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act form, (“Summary of Rights”) which is required to be given by employers to applicants and employees at various points in the background check process.

“Ban The Box” Turns 20: Decoding the Current Framework

Twenty years ago, on a warm summer day, Hawaii enacted a restriction on employer inquiries into an applicant’s work history until after a conditional offer of employment. Intended to give applicants with criminal histories a fair shot at employment, the law—the first state “ban the box” law—crystalized a movement that, in time, would yield similar restrictions in 12 states and 17 localities (for private employers). The result is a crisscrossing jumble of requirements with little uniformity, putting employers in a difficult position when dealing with applicants (and sometimes even existing employees) in different jurisdictions.

Everything Else You Need to Know About New York City’s FCA—New Rules Effective August 5, 2017

New York City has issued new rules interpreting the city’s Fair Chance Act (FCA). These rules, which went into effect on August 5, 2017, provide clarification and guidance on how employers can comply with the requirements of the FCA, the city’s restrictive “ban the box” law which prohibits (with few exceptions) employers from inquiring about or considering an individual’s criminal history until after a conditional offer of employment is extended.

New D.C. Law Restricts Employer Use of Credit Histories in Employment Decisions

On February 15, 2017, Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser signed into law the District of Columbia’s Fair Credit in Employment Amendment Act of 2016 (FCEAA). This Act, which amends the District’s Human Rights Act of 1977, follows other jurisdictions, such as New York City and Philadelphia, in significantly restricting an employer’s ability to inquire into or use an applicant’s or employee’s credit history in making employment decisions.

Ninth Circuit Breaks New Ground, Addresses Standing and Extraneous Content in Background Check Disclosure Forms/Screens

On January 20, 2017, the Ninth Circuit became the first court of appeals to weigh in on several important legal issues for expensive, increasingly common background check class actions—specifically (a) the extraneous content and language in an employer’s background check disclosure forms and online screens that violate the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), and (b) the standing requirements to file background check claims. In Syed v. M-I, LLC, the Ninth Circuit held that (1) inclusion of a liability release in an employment background check disclosure is a willful violation of the FCRA, subjecting an employer to expensive statutory and punitive damages, and (2) this kind of violation results in a concrete harm that satisfies Article III standing, as recently clarified by the Supreme Court of the United States in Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins.

California Law Restricts Employers From Asking About Juvenile Criminal History

California recently amended its existing law governing inquiries into and the use of juvenile criminal information. Effective January 1, 2017 employers will be restricted from asking about, seeking, or using a California applicant/employee’s juvenile criminal history in the employment context.

The Texas Two-Step: Fifth Circuit Withdraws Ruling that Allowed Texas to Proceed with EEOC Background Check Lawsuit

The legal showdown between the State of Texas and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) over the agency’s background check guidance took another turn on September 23, 2016, when the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an order withdrawing its previous June opinion and remanding the case to U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas. The June 2016 opinion had allowed Texas to proceed with its lawsuit against the EEOC. This order comes on the heels of the Supreme Court’s recent decision in United States Army Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes Co., Inc., 136 S.Ct. 1807 (2016), which examined when a federal agency’s decisions can be challenged in court.

Portland’s Ban-the-Box Law Takes Effect, Administrative Rules Provide Clarity

Portland, Oregon’s ban-the-box law, the Removing Barriers to Employment Ordinance, took effect on July 1, 2016. The ordinance prohibits most Portland employers from asking about an applicant’s criminal history or conducting a background check on an applicant until after a conditional offer of employment has been made.

It’s (Not So) Sunny in Philadelphia [for Employers]: City Enacts New Prohibitions on Credit Checks

A new Philadelphia ordinance amending the City’s Fair Practices Act goes into effect on July 7, 2016. The amendment severely limits an employer’s ability to procure and use credit information on most applicants and employees and also limits references to credit checks on an employer’s background check disclosure and authorization forms. With these new provisions, Philadelphia continues to vie with New York City for the title of the country’s most draconian background check law.

How Much Harm Is Enough? SCOTUS Tackles Standing to Sue

On May 16, 2016, the Supreme Court of the United States decided a case, Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins, (No. 13–1339), involving standing to maintain an action in federal court. In the Spokeo case, an individual claimed that a search engine company willfully failed to comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) by providing inaccurate information about him, among other violations. According to the Supreme Court’s decisions, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals wrongly concluded that the individual had properly pleaded injury in fact as required by Article III of the U.S. Constitution and because the Ninth Circuit had failed to consider both aspects of the injury-in-fact requirement, the appeals court’s standing analysis was incomplete.

New York City Issues Proposed Rules Related to the Fair Chance Act

On February 16, 2016, the New York City Commission on Human Rights issued proposed rules related to the city’s Fair Chance Act (FCA)—the restrictive ban-the-box law that went into effect in October of 2015 and prohibits employers from inquiring about an individual’s criminal record until after a conditional offer of employment is extended.

Everything You Need to Know About New York’s New FCA Guidance

As we previously reported, New York City’s Fair Chance Act (FCA) went into effect on October 27, 2015. On November 5, 2015, the New York City Commission on Human Rights (NYCCHR or Commission) issued long-anticipated guidance on the FCA. Although the Commission’s website indicates that the guidance will be subject to future rulemaking, the guidance is effective as of November 5, 2015. The summary below is of the guidance as it currently stands.

No Credit, No Problem: NYC’s New Guidance Further Limits Employer Credit Checks

As we previously reported, New York City recently passed a law prohibiting employers from requesting or using an individual’s credit history in making employment decisions. On September 3, 2015—the same day that the new law went into effect—the New York City Commission on Human Rights (Commission) issued official guidance on the new law, now called the Stop Credit Discrimination in Employment Act (SCDEA).

‘Tis the (Retail) Season, Part II: Conducting Background Checks on Seasonal Workers

During the upcoming holiday season, many companies—especially those with retail operations—will be looking to expand their available workforce by hiring seasonal workers. Unfortunately, many of these temporary workers will be hired without much scrutiny. Although this approach is understandable given the frenzied pace of the holiday season, it is a…..