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Background Checks

Effective background check procedures can help produce more informed hiring decisions and protect employees, customers and company assets, but recent developments have resulted in increased scrutiny of employers’ background check policies.

Overview

We have vast experience assisting employers with respect to the development, review and refinement of background check programs, as well as defending against legal and administrative challenges to background check policies and practices.

With a renowned team of accomplished employment litigators, along with attorneys who have testified before Congress and the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights in support of the appropriate use of criminal background checks in employment, we can assist employers with all of their background check-related needs, including:

  • Advice regarding whether it is appropriate to “ban-the-box” and forego asking about an applicant’s criminal history on an initial application and alternate means of inquiring into an applicant’s criminal record;
  • Guidance on whether a company’s background check procedures are subject to the requirements of the federal FCRA and/or state law and the company’s obligations under applicable laws;
  • Review and revision of forms required by state or federal fair credit reporting laws;
  • Developing and refining policies that help a company make reasoned disqualification decisions taking into account the EEOC’s guidelines and state law;
  • Defense of EEOC or state agency charges of discrimination at the initial stage with the goal of avoiding such charges evolving into class investigations;
  • Defense of EEOC or state agency systemic investigations relating to criminal or credit background practices;
  • Defense of individual or class-based lawsuits brought by the EEOC or private plaintiffs; and
  • Training for corporate human resources and security departments (and other management personnel) on preventive strategies to minimize liability for the use of background checks.

The Team

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April 18, 2018

Massachusetts Adjusts Limits on Employer Inquiries into Job Applicants’ Criminal History

April 18, 2018

A provision in the Massachusetts criminal justice reform law signed by Governor Charlie Baker amends the state’s restrictions on the questions employers may ask a job applicant regarding the applicant’s criminal history during the hiring process. The new restrictions include an adjusted limitation on asking about misdemeanor convictions... Read More

April 17, 2018

Localities and the Salary History Ban: Next Stop, Westchester County, New York

April 17, 2018

New York’s Westchester County is the latest locality to adopt legislation prohibiting employers from asking prior salary histories of a prospective employee. On Equal Pay Day, April 10, 2018, Westchester County Executive George Latimer signed legislation with the stated legislative intent of preventing the perpetuation of the gender... Read More

April 4, 2018

Retail Industry Workplace Law Update – Spring 2018

April 4, 2018

When ICE Knocks Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, is responsible for enforcement of laws related to unlawful employment of workers, and the agency’s increased enforcement activities should have retailers reviewing their plans. Read full article… Washington Ban-the-Box Law Limits Criminal Background Inquiries Retailers... Read More

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