In Owens v. Crabtree, Opinion No. 5616 (January 16, 2019), the South Carolina Court of Appeals held that a company’s termination of an employee for using company devices, on company time, to oppose a local building project that the company had a financial stake in was valid and did not violate public policy.
The disclosure requirement of the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) remains one of the most contentious and expensive litigation areas for employers. The case law from various federal district courts has been a mixed bag, leaving employers to question what it means to provide a “clear and conspicuous” disclosure in a writing that “consists solely” of the disclosure.
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.
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.
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.
The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has become the second federal court of appeals to weigh in on an important legal issue for employers in defending against expensive, increasingly common Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) class action lawsuits.
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.
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.