BACKGROUND CHECKS

Know the law: Background checks continue to trip up employers

04/14/2014
If you don’t follow the rules, background checks can cause more trouble than they prevent. Your background process can also become the basis for a class-action lawsuit.

What are the basic rules for conducting background checks that pass legal muster?

04/07/2014
Q. We have several positions in our company that require financial discretion. May we perform background checks on applicants for these jobs?

San Francisco's Fair Chance law limits criminal background checks

03/27/2014
San Francisco has “banned-the-box” on employment applications and has added other restrictions on private employers’ ability to obtain and use criminal history information. The City and County of San Fran­­cisco Board of Supervisors passed the Fair Chance Ordi­­­­nance in February, and the new law goes into effect Aug. 13.

New from the EEOC: Tips on background checks

03/25/2014
The EEOC has released a technical assistance document explaining how employers can legally conduct background checks for employment purposes. The Web-based “Background Checks: What Employers Need to Know” doesn’t introduce any new requirements, but does offer tips on complying with the law, as well as best practices employers should follow.

Can we ask applicants about their driving records?

03/11/2014
Q. Is it lawful to ask about a person’s driving record (accidents and violations) on the job application?

Employee committed firing offense? Terminate ASAP--or else prepare for court

03/06/2014
If you don’t terminate an employee for an obvious firing of­­fense but later use that reason to justify a discharge, you’d better have a good explanation for the delay. Otherwise, a jury may see the move as a pretext for some form of discrimination.

When criminal records are at issue, prepare to explain rationale for firing or not hiring

03/06/2014

Employees who lose a job often don’t believe the discharge reason their employer provides. They look for some apparent underlying illegal discrimination and sue. Smart employers are ready to explain the entire discharge process from beginning to end.

IRCA: Hiring Immigrants

02/22/2014

HR Law 101: Two laws govern U.S. immigration policy: the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 and the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) of 1986, which was amended in 1990. For each new employee hired, U.S. employers must complete a Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. The I-9 establishes the employee’s identity and legal work status.

Now what? Bad former employee wants a reference

01/24/2014
Q. I received a call from an employee I recently fired, letting me know she listed me as a reference. She was terminated because of performance. Can I disclose that information to a potential employer?

Bill banning credit checks on applicants introduced in Senate

01/06/2014
Sen. Elizabeth Warren has introduced a bill that would prohibit employers from requiring job applicants to disclose their credit histories. Ten states already prohibit the practice, but chances of a nationwide ban appear slim.

Criminal checks: Should you 'ban the box'?

01/03/2014
Retail giant Target grabbed HR headlines recently when it announced it was removing from its job applications any questions about applicants’ criminal backgrounds. Reason: Minnesota (where Target is based) passed a law that forbids private employers in the state from asking criminal background check questions on job applications. Minnesota is one of 10 states and 50+ cities to change their laws in response to a grassroots campaign called “Ban the Box.”

How do California's new immigration laws affect documenting eligibility to work?

12/24/2013
Q. I have heard that the state’s new immigration laws restrict how we handle documenting an applicant’s right to work. Can you tell me more?

Minnesota bans the box: What it means for employers

12/23/2013
Minne­sota is joining a number of other states in prohibiting em­­­­­­ployers from asking job applicants about their criminal records prior to a job interview. Here’s what you need to know about Minnesota’s new “ban the box” law.

Nurses union responds to Star Tribune story

12/23/2013
The Minneapolis Star Tribune recently ran an investigative report showing how easily Minnesota nurses can evade background check requirements and how few face discipline for serious misconduct. Now the Minnesota Nurses Association (MNA) has come out in favor of tougher standards.

Texas sues EEOC over background check guidelines

12/02/2013

The state of Texas filed a federal suit against the EEOC, disputing guidance that discourages employers from instituting total bans on hiring convicted felons.

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