Category Archives: Compliance

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NC Governor Cooper “Bans the Box” for State Jobs

Category : Compliance

Effective Nov. 1st, 2020, candidates for most state jobs in North Carolina will no longer be required to disclose criminal convictions on their employment applications. Governor Cooper’s executive order will ban most state agencies from asking about an applicant’s criminal record until the person has received an interview. This is being done to ensure that candidates are not screened out of the hiring process before they have an opportunity to prove their merit.

It should be noted that the requirement does not currently apply to private companies. Some state positions, like Law Enforcement, will still require candidates to disclose their records. It also does not mean that a criminal conviction relevant to the role that the candidate applies for cannot be used to make an employment decision after a conditional job offer is extended.

Furthermore, Cooper said he wants the Department of Administration to look at the feasibility of having state contractors implement these policies as well. This means that employers working with the state (and other employers in general) may want to review their policies in the event that the ban the box requirement is extended to cover their businesses as well.

If you’re an employer and you have questions on how to update your background screening processes, contact CRC’s sales team at (877) 272-0266.

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ICE Extends I-9 Compliance Flexibility, No More Extensions for Employers to Respond to NOIs Served in March

Category : Compliance

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have extended the I-9 requirement flexibility accommodations that were issued in March until August 19. Also, ICE announced that no additional extensions will be granted to employers who were served Notices of Inspection (NOIs) by ICE during March 2020.

As mentioned in our previous article, DHS is allowing employers that have implemented physical proximity policies due to Covid-19 to verify an employee’s identity documents remotely. E-Verify participants who meet the criteria and choose the remote inspection option should continue to follow current guidance and create cases for their new hires within three business days from the date of hire.

As a reminder, if you’re an employer that utilizes CRC’s online I-9 form documentation service, you can utilize additional features we’ve made to help reduce the burden of organizing and tracking this update. We’ve added a checkbox in the top of section 2 titled “Operating remotely physical inspection delay COVID-19.” Checking this box will allow the employer to upload a copy of the documents. Once normal operations resume, customers are notified to complete their physical inspections and mark them as complete on their forms.

In response to these ongoing extensions, CRC will be hosting a webinar where we’ll discuss these updates as well as strategies that HR personnel can use to stay in compliance. The webinar will be held on July 29 at 3:00 PM EST and interested parties can register by clicking here.

If you have any questions about this announcement or CRC’s I-9 fulfillment, please reach out to our Sales team.

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Woman Sues Employer and Background Screener Over Mix-Up that Turned Life ‘Upside Down’

A Florida woman is struggling after a mix up with her employers’ background screening process allegedly resulted in her losing her home, her vehicle, and her children. She shares the same name and date of birth as a violent offender in Pennsylvania. The employee notes that this case of mistaken identity has happened before with the same employer, a transportation network company; she previously had to submit fingerprints and contact Pennsylvania’s authorities before being able to continue working. The mix up occurred once more when her employer’s new background screening company returned the same results and the employer suspended her again. This time, the employee decided to sue the company as well as the background screener for damages and is alleging that they willfully violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Click here if you’d like to read more about this story:

This instance of mistaken identity demonstrates that employers should properly vet their background screening providers’ reporting policies, specifically their matching criteria. Most background screening companies have a separate policy in place for reporting common names that is more stringent than their standard reporting policy. Employers should also follow proper adverse action guidelines to ensure that the candidate or employee has a chance to dispute any incorrect information before a letter of denial is issued. Technical errors such as this are avoidable and HR teams can mitigate their risk by partnering with a background screener that thoroughly verifies the information they report.

Please feel free to reach out to CRC’s Sales team at (877) 272-0266 if you have any questions or concerns about your current process!

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Newspaper’s Hiring of a Convicted Sex Offender Raises Questions About Ban the Box Compliance

A newspaper in New Mexico hired a convicted sex offender to report on local schools. When it was reported that the employee was on the sex offender registry, the paper stated that he had failed to self-disclose that information. The employer then pointed to New Mexico’s recent passing of ban the box regulations to explain why they didn’t run a background check during the employment process. These laws, which have been enacted in over 35 states and 150 cities and counties, mandate that employers do not require candidates to self-disclose their criminal history during the initial job application.

Does this mean that background checks cannot be ran in states, cities or counties that have passed ban the box regulations? No. The best practice is to wait to ask about criminal history until after a conditional offer of employment has been made. The candidate can then have an opportunity to self-disclose their criminal history and a background check can be conducted at that time. Additionally, employers may want to confer with legal counsel prior to making changes to their screening policies since misinterpreting the law can result in cases such as this.

Please contact CRC if you have any questions about Ban the Box and how it affects your organization!