Criminal Background Checks

Imagine this: you are an employer in California, and you recently hired a new employee.  You ran your own background check, which did not turn up any criminal convictions.  However, the employee’s job duties include submitting online applications to a government agency, which requires the employee to complete a Live Scan background check with the Department of Justice.  The Live Scan reveals that the employee has a past criminal conviction that will prevent her from submitting the applications.  You terminate the employee, and she tells you the conviction was judicially dismissed.  What do you do?
Continue Reading Dismissed Criminal Convictions in California

Nationwide, 36 states and over 150 municipalities have adopted “ban the box” laws that prohibit employers from asking applicants about their conviction or arrest records on their initial applications.  This article provides updates on recent changes and updates in Hawaii, California, and St. Louis, Missouri.
Continue Reading More States and Localities Enact and Strengthen Ban the Box Laws

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

A magistrate judge in the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon recently made findings and recommendations to dismiss a purported class action against Kroger subsidiary Fred Meyer.  The suit alleges that the retailer’s background check process for prospective employees violates the Fair Credit Reporting Act by both failing to properly disclose that a report will be run, and failing to comply with the statute’s procedural requirements before taking adverse action against an applicant.
Continue Reading The Spokeo Chronicles: Another Tentative Background Check Win for Kroger Subsidiary