The U.S. Department of Justice has moved to intervene to defend the constitutionality of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“Act”) against a consumer reporting agency accused of violating § 605 of the Act.

On November 23, 2010, Shamara T. King filed suit against General Information Services, Inc. (“GIS”) in Pennsylvania federal court claiming violations of the Act.  (See, King v. General Information Services., No. 2:10-CV-06850 (E.D. Pa. Nov. 23, 2010).  Specifically, King claims that when she applied for a job with the United States Postal Service, GIS performed a background check that included details about a car theft arrest that occurred more than seven years prior to the requested background check.  According to § 605(a)(5) of the Act, consumer reporting agencies cannot provide adverse information, except for criminal convictions, “which antedates the report by more than seven years.”


Continue Reading Be Cautious Of How Far Back You Are Looking Into An Applicant’s Civil Or Criminal History

California Governor Jerry Brown recently signed into law Senate Bill No. 559 (SB 559), which prohibits discrimination based on an individual’s genetic information.  While SB 559 significantly expands the protections from genetic discrimination provided under the federal Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA), at this time, its impact on most California employers is thought to be limited to the potential for greater damages to be awarded under it than under its federal counterpart.


Continue Reading California Passes Law Prohibiting Discrimination Based On Genetic Information

In March, we reported on the increasing attention that federal and state legislatures, as well as the EEOC, were paying to employers’ use of employee credit checks in employment decisions. At the time of posting, four states had laws regulating employer use of credit history data and fourteen additional states were considering similar measures. Earlier this month, Connecticut passed Public Act No. 11-223 regulating employer use of credit reports.

Continue Reading Connecticut Restricts Employer Access To Employee Credit Reports

In October 2010, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) raised the eyebrows of employers and observers when its Hartford, Connecticut Regional Office issued an unfair labor practice complaint against an employer after it allegedly terminated an employee for posting unflattering statements about her supervisor on Facebook.  The NLRB and the company settled the complaint in February 2011, on condition that the company revise its rules so they do not improperly restrict employees from discussing their wages, hours and working conditions with coworkers and others while not at work.  The employer also agreed that it would not discipline or discharge employees for engaging in such discussions.

Continue Reading Update: NLRB Continues To Closely Probe Employer Terminations Following Employee Complaints On Social Media

On January 19, 2011, the United States Supreme Court issued a unanimous ruling in National Aeronautics and Space Administration v. Nelson, finding that questions contained in background checks NASA conducted on independent contractors are reasonable, employment-related inquiries that further the government’s interests in managing its internal operations.  Stating that “[t]he challenged portions of the

As reported on Hunton and Williams LLP’s Privacy and Information Security Law Blog, on August 10, 2010, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed the Employee Credit Privacy Act, which prohibits most Illinois employers from inquiring about an applicant’s or employee’s credit history or using an individual’s credit history as a basis for an employment decision. The definition of “employer” under the Act exempts banks, insurance companies, law enforcement agencies, debt collectors and state and local government agencies that require the use of credit history.


Continue Reading New Illinois Law Restricts Employer Use Of Credit History

On July 20, 2010, Hunton & Williams LLP announced the release of the first edition treatise Privacy and Data Security Law Deskbook (Aspen Publishers).  The deskbook provides a detailed overview of the workplace issues affected by information privacy and data security law and is a practical one-stop loose-leaf guide for privacy professionals, compliance officers and lawyers responsible for privacy or data security.

Continue Reading Privacy and Data Security Law Deskbook Addresses Important Labor Law Issues

For an employer preparing to defend against a legal action by a disgruntled employee, few moments are as intoxicating as digging into the employee’s electronic files on the company-owned computer.  The golden dirt often emerges in the form of a gossipy e-mail or an internet search for something racier than the sports scores.


Continue Reading Employers’ Right To Snoop Is Thrown For A Loop