Criminal Background Checks

On December 17, 2019, the Fair Chance to Compete for Jobs Act of 2019 was signed by the President as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act.  This federal “ban-the-box” law proscribes federal agencies and contractors from asking about a job applicant’s criminal history until after they make a conditional offer of employment.
Continue Reading The Federal “Ban the Box” Law Is Enacted While Evidence Suggests that Such Laws Do Not Have the Intended Consequences

On November 22, 2019, the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York against Sterling Infosystems, Inc. regarding allegations that it violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act in providing criminal background checks to employers.  Sterling is a “consumer reporting agency” as defined by the FCRA, which provides background check results to employers when requested.
Continue Reading Background Check Vendors Beware: the CFPB’s Authority to Enforce the FCRA Applies to You Too

Dollar General and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently settled a six-year-old Title VII lawsuit.  The EEOC brought its race discrimination claim on behalf of a Charging Party and a class of Black job applicants, alleging that Dollar General’s use of criminal justice history information in the hiring process had a disparate impact on Black applicants.
Continue Reading The EEOC Settles Six-Year-Old Lawsuit Attacking Background Check Policy

The United States District Court for the Western District of New York recently granted an early dismissal of a class action lawsuit prior to class certification. According to plaintiffs in the case, the employer’s criminal background check policy for job applicants illegally discriminated against African-American job candidates.
Continue Reading Federal Court Finds That General Statistical Data Is Not Enough to Show That No-Conviction Hiring Policy Was Discriminatory

After a nearly six-year legal battle, the Fifth Circuit has struck down the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s 2012 Enforcement Guidance on the consideration of criminal history in employment decisions.  On August 6, a three-judge panel held that the Guidance was a substantive rule the EEOC had no authority to issue and that the EEOC can no longer enforce the Guidance or treat it as binding in any respect.
Continue Reading EEOC Criminal History Guidance Struck Down by Fifth Circuit

Employers failing to strictly comply with FCRA requirements in conducting background checks continue to face expensive consequences.  On November 16, 2018, the United States District Court for the Southern District of California approved a $1.2 million settlement of a class action lawsuit alleging violations of the FCRA filed against the popular pet supplies chain Petco.
Continue Reading Failing to Properly Conduct Background Checks Continues To Be a Million-Dollar Mistake

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued a new “A Summary of Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act” form on September 12, 2018.  This form replaces the previous version issued on November 12, 2012, and is expected to be implemented by employers on September 21, 2018.
Continue Reading New Compliance Requirements for FCRA Background Checks