NC’s Governor Cooper Proclaims April as Second Chance Month

On April 12, Governor Cooper proclaimed that April 2021 is Second Chance Month in North Carolina. As stated in the proclamation, “formerly incarcerated individuals face many hurdles in securing employment, housing, transportation, and health care, made even more challenging during a global health crisis.” Furthermore, “efforts are underway at the federal, state, and local levels to establish programs and policies focused on removing the barriers that prevent formerly incarcerated people from pursuing healthy and productive lives”.

Governor Cooper’s proclamation further reinforces his stance of enacting Fair Chance Hiring laws. In November 2020, the Governor issued an executive order that banned most state agencies from asking about an applicant’s criminal record until the person has received an interview. This is in an effort to ensure candidates are not screened out of the hiring process before they have an opportunity to prove their merit. While this order was only enacted for state agencies, private employers may wish to review their process to stay in line with the current best practices and prepare for future updates. Click here to read Governor Cooper’s full proclamation and here for more information about Ban the Box.

If you’re a NC employer and would like to audit your screening process, contact CRC’s sales team at (877) 272-0266

Hospital Faces Lawsuit Alleging an Insufficient Background Check on Medic Accused of Sexual Assault

A hospital in Florida is currently facing a negligent hiring lawsuit due to claims that a proper background check was not conducted on a former paramedic accused of sexually assaulting patients. The plaintiff argues that the paramedic had been previously employed in Michigan, where he received a disciplinary suspension of his license due to similar allegations of sexual misconduct. The paramedic also reportedly had an active warrant for sexual assault charges out of Michigan at the time of his arrest in 2019. The hospital’s staff reported that they were unaware that the paramedic had ever worked in Michigan or had been previously accused of sexual assault.

Background checks, when used to screen an employment candidate, are meant to reduce risk that a hire may pose to not only an employer, but to their customers and the public. Instances such as this illustrate the importance of conducting thorough background checks on staff, especially if they work with vulnerable populations. For this case, the hospital may have avoided this lawsuit had the following components been a part of their screening process: a comprehensive nationwide criminal search, a license verification, and previous employer references.

If your team has not reviewed your screening policies and procedures lately, contact us at for a free assessment.

Illinois Employers Subject to New Background Check Requirements

Chicago Skyline

On March 23, 2021, Governor J.B. Pritzker signed a bill that imposes new requirements on Illinois employers that utilize criminal history checks for employment purposes. Under this new bill (SB1480), employers in Illinois must fulfill three specific requirements before making an employment decision based upon a candidate’s conviction record: They must perform an individualized assessment, follow the adverse action notification process, and inform individuals of their right to file a charge with the Illinois Department of Human Rights under the Illinois Human Rights Act (IHRA).

For companies that do business outside of Illinois, these requirements likely look very familiar as they’re in line with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) guidance. The FCRA is the federal law that governs the preparation and utilization of consumer reports, including (but not limited to), the usage of a candidate’s criminal record to make an employment decision. If employers do not follow the new IHRA provisions, not only may they be putting themselves at risk of a discrimination charge under the IHRA, but it may also be argued that the employer violated the FCRA. Employers may want to consider consulting with their attorney to ensure their internal policies are up to date.

If your team has not recently evaluated your background screening process to determine if it meets IHRA and FCRA compliance standards, reach out to us at for assistance.