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.
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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.
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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.
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Imagine a future in which Artificial Intelligence does the recruiting and hiring at U.S. companies.  Every new hire will be the uniquely perfect candidate whose skills, personality, presence, temperament, and work habits are a flawless match for the job.  Performance management and poor performance become extinct, relics from an age in which humans brought primitive instincts, biases, and flawed intuition to hiring and employment decisions.
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The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear a case on October 8 that likely would have clarified the scope of Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act related to the operation of virtual platforms like websites and applications by private businesses.
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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.
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The House of Representatives passed the Equality Act (H.R. 5 – 116th Congress) this past Friday, May 17, mostly along party lines – the resolution passed with a 236 to 173 vote, with only 8 of the “aye” votes cast by Republicans.  The Equality Act would amend various civil rights laws, including the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Civil Rights Act”), the Fair Housing Act, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, the Jury Selection and Services Act, and other laws regarding employment with the federal government, to explicitly include sexual orientation and gender identity as protected characteristics.
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