Category Archives: Compliance

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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!

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New Executive Order Restricts NC Public Sector From Viewing Applicants’ Salary Histories

On April 2nd, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper signed an executive order prohibiting agencies in his administration from reviewing the salary histories of their job applicants. The Governor stated that this restriction was put in place to reduce the pay gap between men and women in NC. Human Resources and Talent Acquisition managers in the public sector have been directed to comply with this law by removing salary history fields from state employment applications as soon as possible.

North Carolina joins 13 other states such as California, Massachusetts, and Oregon in passing laws restricting employers from asking about salary history. While public private sector employers do not have to abide by the new regulations, the passing of this law may inspire more restrictions in the future. CRC will post more updates to this story if they occur.

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Delta Air Lines to Pay $2.3 Million to Settle FCRA Class Action Lawsuit

Delta Airlines has agreed to pay $2.3 Million to settle a class action lawsuit for alleged Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) violations. Approximately 44,000 applicants were affected and are eligible to collect a portion of the settlement. According to the plaintiffs, Delta’s forms contained extraneous and misleading information that could not be understood without an in-depth review of the FCRA. Under the FCRA, employers are required to provide clear and conspicuous disclosure, on a document consisting solely of the disclosure, as well as obtain the consumer’s written authorization prior to procuring the consumer report. This means that any extraneous information such as a release of liability or any other information that detracts from the notice should not be on the disclosure and including it there can result in legal and monetary repercussions.

Cases like this should serve as a reminder to employers to review their FCRA forms, in particular their Disclosure and Authorization forms, as well as their Adverse Action forms. Employers should also leverage their background screening provider for assistance with FCRA compliance. Although background screening providers cannot (and should not) provide legal counsel, experienced and accredited background screening providers can provide end users with valuable tools and resources to help them comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act and its analogous state laws.

Some resources most accredited screening providers can offer include, but are not limited to, sample template FCRA and state-specific forms, document/process fulfillment and automated compliance tools which are offered directly through the background screener’s online portal. Also, most established background screening providers have relationships with experienced, industry-leading attorneys. If outside counsel is sought, the background screening provider will be able to refer the employer to an attorney that specializes in background screening and the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Are you interested in leveraging CRC’s compliance team to ensure you’re in FCRA compliance? Feel free to reach out to us for a free consultation!

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Ban the Box Sweeps the West Coast with Washington’s Fair Chance Act

Category : Compliance

Joining California and Oregon, Washington’s Governor Jay Inslee signed into law the Fair Chance Act (HB 1298) on March 13, 2018. Washington’s version of the “ban the box” law will be effective on June 6, 2018.

Much like most traditional ‘ban-the-box’ legislation, the Fair Chance act will prohibit employers from inquiring about an applicant’s criminal history before the applicant is deemed ‘otherwise qualified’ for the position sought. Exceptions to the law include jobs in law enforcement, state agencies, schools and other businesses that supervise children, persons with disabilities and vulnerable adults.

Click here to review Washington’s Fair Chance Act (HB 1298)

Please reach out to CRC’s Customer Care Group if you have any questions about how “Ban-the Box” laws may affect your company’s background screening program!

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Ban the Box Regulations Passed for Kansas City, MO’s Private Sector

Category : Compliance

Kansas City’s City Council recently approved an extension of its preexisting hiring guidelines that have been in place for public sector employees since 2013. Private sector employers in Kansas City, MO will be required to adhere to “Ban the Box” guidelines effective June 9, 2018. Under the new rules of Section 38-104, Kansas City employers with six or more employees, both private and public, will also be prohibited from making hiring or promotional decisions about a prospective employee’s criminal history until after determining that the individual is eligible for the position, and only after the applicant has been interviewed or extended an offer for the position.

Once the interview or offer is initiated, an employer can then initiate the background screening process. If a criminal record is located, employers must consider all of the available information including the record’s severity, the details of the record, and if the record is reasonably related to the duties of the position. Only after employers have followed all of these steps, can they take an adverse action based on an applicant’s criminal history.

Click here to view Kansas City’s Ban the Box Ordinance.

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California “Ban the Box” Law Now In Effect

Category : Compliance

Last year, California’s Governor signed a statewide “Ban-the-Box” law to go into effect on January 1, 2018. This law will put restrictions on when an applicant can be asked to disclose their criminal history for hiring purposes. It requires that employers remove this check box or question from their applications.

Click here for a detailed review of AB 1008 by James Silvers of Ogletree Deakins.

Ban the Box was designed to prevent employment discrimination against individuals with a criminal history. It was intended for employers to propose a conditional job offer of employment before the background check is processed. This law places a stronger obligation on employers to comply with pre-adverse and adverse action processes. Employers that conduct business in California or other Ban-the-Box jurisdictions should become familiar with the laws in those areas. Knowing what laws affect your company will prepare you to avoid litigation and remain compliant with the changing legislation.

Please note that these laws do not prevent employers from running background checks on their applicants, but more so require that a conditional offer of employment is made, which can be withdrawn, before obtaining the report.

Please reach out to CRC’s Customer Care Group at 877-272-0266 if you have any questions about how “Ban-the Box” laws may affect your company’s background screening process