BACKGROUND CHECKS

Court slams EEOC on background checks

03/10/2015
EEOC efforts to crack down on employers’ use of credit and criminal checks suffered a serious setback on Feb. 20 when the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court ruling that exonerated an employer of illegally running discriminatory background checks on job applicants.

Prodigal employee? Ensure hiring managers don't know details of prior complaints

03/03/2015

Even after an employee who has participated in employment lawsuits or complaints is discharged for entirely legitimate reasons, he may later sue if he isn’t rehired. Then he’ll try to argue that his prior protected activity was the reason he wasn’t rehired. To avoid such lawsuits, make sure the hiring manager knows little or nothing about those prior activities.

Where in Texas do 'ban the box' laws apply?

02/10/2015
Q. I have been hearing a lot about “ban the box” laws lately—measures that limit when inquiry or investigation may be made into the criminal history of a job applicant. I am worried about how these laws could affect my business. To what extent has Texas adopted such policies, and could they endanger my company?

'Ban the Box' still a struggle for some Minnesota employers

01/15/2015
Starting Jan. 1, Minnesota em­­ployers’ job applications could no longer ask candidates about past criminal convictions. But some employers, including some of the state’s largest, have not completely adapted to the new legal landscape.

'Before I check your references ...'

01/06/2015
Before calling references, ask the applicant, “What am I likely to hear when I contact these people?” The answers may surprise you.

Temp to permanent? OK to set standards high

12/08/2014
The temp-to-permanent track can be a win-win for everyone. It’s perfectly fine to establish high standards for making the jump to permanent employment.

Obama's executive action will affect tech employers

11/25/2014
President Obama’s Nov. 20 announcement that he would take executive action to protect about 5 million illegal immigrants from deportation set off a political firestorm, but the plan will affect relatively few employers.

Fraud alert: No shortcuts when hiring seasonal staff

11/19/2014
With seasonal hiring expected to be at its highest level in years, fraud experts warn that companies that loosen their usual processes to ramp up staffing can wind up increasing their fraud risk.

Luxury hotelier hit with $2 million tab for immigration violations

10/13/2014
Salt Lake City-based Grand America Hotels and Resorts will pay nearly $2 million for hiring undocumented immigrants following a settlement agreement signed in September between the company, federal prosecutors and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Negligence can't stand in for discrimination in N.Y.

10/08/2014

Clever lawyers are always looking for ways to reach deeper into employer pockets. One tactic has been to add state negligence claims to run-of-the-mill discrimination cases. That won’t work anymore, at least as far as negligent hiring, supervision and retention claims are concerned.

Employee references aren't a matter of 'free speech'

10/07/2014
Answering reference calls? Don’t think all responses are protected by “free speech” rights.

I-9 audits again hit record; get forms in compliance

10/02/2014
Heads up: Your odds of getting hit with an audit of your I-9 forms took another jump last year.

How honest can I be when called for a reference on a subpar former employee?

09/19/2014
Q. I recently fired one of my employees, but today another company called me, stating that the former employee marked me down on a job application as an employment reference. Can I tell the prospective em­­ployer about how terrible an employee this person was?

Is it OK to have a blanket policy of rejecting applicants with criminal histories?

09/19/2014
Q. I believe I should be able to refuse employment to any prospective employee with a record of criminal conviction. Can I institute a blanket policy that bars employment to applicants with criminal records? Also, what can I ask applicants about their criminal records?

How frank can we be with references?

09/17/2014
Q. We recently received a reference request from another company. We would like to be honest with the potential employer about the former employee’s performance issues. The employee was unreliable, did not get along with co-workers, and was always complaining to his supervisor about our business practices without any basis. Are there risks to being honest and giving the employee a bad reference?
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