BACKGROUND CHECKS

Is it OK to simply refuse to hire sex offenders?

05/20/2015
Q. After narrowing our search to one candidate, we learned that the applicant may be listed as a registered sex offender. We would just rather not hire this applicant. Can we legally do that?

Before you check Facebook, ask 3 questions

05/12/2015

The practice of searching applicants’ social media accounts for background information is drawing increasing scrutiny. It’s legally risky. When deciding whether to check applicants’ social media content for background-check purposes, consider these questions.

No more credit checks for many New York City job applicants

05/06/2015
Do you routinely conduct credit checks on job applicants? Are you located in New York City? Then here’s a heads-up: The New York City Council has overwhelmingly passed an amendment to the New York City Human Rights Law that would bar most city employers from using credit checks as part of their hiring process.

Are we liable for negligent hiring if employee had criminal conviction?

04/13/2015
Q. Recently, one of my employees accidentally injured a client while operating a forklift during work hours. The client is now threatening to sue me for negligent hiring of this employee, because the employee has a prior—and unrelated—conviction. Does this accusation have legal grounds?

Internal thefts: OK to redo background checks?

04/13/2015

As this case shows, running new background checks on your current staff is not, by itself, a discriminatory act. Just make sure you set clear standards on how you will react to the results.

Worker's immigration status won't let employer off hook

03/30/2015
A California appeals court has ordered a new trial for a worker who may have lost a lawsuit because the jury learned that he was an illegal immigrant.

Cracking down on internal theft problem? Be sure to handle criminal checks properly

03/10/2015
Has your workplace experienced an increase in theft? If so, you’re probably exploring loss-prevention measures. While you assess your options, make sure you don’t crack down on employees in ways that will land you in court.

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.
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