California Employers Should Reevaluate Their Criminal Background Check Policies Before July 1, 2017

May 3, 2017

Free Webinar: Doing Background Checks the Right Way

March 7, 2017

Alert: Fair Credit Reporting Act ( FCRA) Class-Action Lawsuits Increasing

March 25, 2016

Employer Alert – Philadelphia “Ban the Box” Amendments To Go Into Effect On March 14, 2016

March 1, 2016

The New York City Fair Chance Act Goes Into Effect Today

October 27, 2015

What Employers Need to Know About Conducting Criminal Background Checks in Massachusetts

March 19, 2012


Littler Mendelson, the nation’s largest employment and labor law firm, has an important update for Massachusetts employers conducting background checks:

Massachusetts Employers Face New Obligations When Conducting Background Checks Involving Criminal History Records

Effective May 4, 2012, the Massachusetts Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) Reform Act (the Act), which was enacted in August 2010 with the controversial “ban the box” legislation, will significantly change the way employers access, use, and maintain information obtained through the Commonwealth’s CORI system. The Act will allow all employers access to a new online records system, but also imposes obligations on employers that acquire criminal history information from private sources, such as consumer reporting agencies (background report vendors such as FYI Screening). Employers should review their hiring and background check policies now to determine whether any updates are necessary.

Related article:

2010 CORI Reform Explained: How the law is changing, and when. (pdf)

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EEOC Examines Arrest and Conviction Records as a Hiring Barrier

July 26, 2011


On July 26, 2011 the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) held a public meeting to discuss the employment barriers faced by individuals with arrest and conviction records.

A recap of the meeting can be found here.

Photo credits: Cosima’s Digital Designs

3 Myths About Employing People With Criminal Histories

June 1, 2011


Stephanie R. Thomas, hosts “The Proactive Employer Podcast“, which is a weekly broadcast dedicated to EEO compliance and employment litigation risk management.

Last week she reported on the myths about employing people with criminal histories.

Here’s a recap of the podcast:

Each year, more than 700,000 people are released from federal and state prisons, and another 9 million cycle through local jails. Federal agencies are funding reentry efforts in communities all around the country, and the Obama administration is working across agencies to coordinate and advance efforts through the Federal Reentry Council.

Part of the reentry process is finding employment.

In this installment of The Proactive Employer Podcast, Stephanie talks about what the Federal Reentry Council is doing to assist with employment efforts. She talks about three common myths regarding employment of individuals with criminal backgrounds and she also covers common questions regarding employee background screening.


MYTH #1 : People with criminal records are automatically barred from employment.

MYTH #2: Businesses and employers have no way to protect themselves from potential property and monetary losses should an individual they hire prove to be dishonest.

  • FACT: Through the Federal Bonding Program (FBP), funded and administered by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), fidelity insurance bonds are available to indemnify employers for loss of money or property sustained through the dishonest acts of their employees (i.e., theft, forgery, larceny, and embezzlement).
  • Get the Myth Buster fact sheet (PDF).

MYTH #3: The Federal Government’s hiring policies prohibit employment of people with criminal records.

Need help in sorting out the facts from myths about employee background checks? Give us a call at 1-800-809-2419. We’d love to hear from you.


Is It Legal For An Employer To Charge A Potential Employee For A Background Check?

March 16, 2011


I recently checked out Quora which is getting a lot of buzz lately (with mixed reviews). What is Quora you ask? The best way to describe it is it’s a Q&A social networking site. I’m not sure if Quora is going to be social media’s newest “it” platform, but I did find some questions on employee background screening that you might find helpful.

Here’s one question that I recently answered:

Q – Is it legal for an employer to charge a potential employee for a background check? If a business requires employees to be screened for past criminal behavior, is it acceptable to charge potential employees for the cost of the screening?

A- There is no federal law that prohibits employers charging a potential employee for a background check but the following states (and Washington, DC) have laws that limit this practice:

  • California, Minnesota, Washington,DC – the employee cannot be required to pay for a background check as a condition of employment.
  • Vermont – limits an employer charging a potential employee for a background check if they are using specific sources.
  • Kansas – employers can’t require potential employees to obtain their own records and give them to the employer.

What questions do you have about background checks?

Photo credit: Valerie Everett

The Challenges of Background Check Compliance for Employers

October 19, 2010


Littler Mendelson’s Privacy & Data Protection Practice Group just published an excellent article highlighting the challenges of background check compliance for employers:

New California Law Illustrates Challenges of Background Check Compliance for Employers

“Background checks seem to be a hot topic in state legislatures these days. In the past six months, for example, several states — including Illinois, Massachusetts, Oregon, and most recently California — have enacted laws bearing upon the process of checking the backgrounds of job applicants and employees. Under the new California law (pdf), effective January 1, 2012, background check authorizations must include the “Internet Web site address . . . where the consumer may find information about the investigative reporting agency’s privacy practices.” This seemingly trivial change is endemic to the challenges that employers confront in the area of background check compliance.”

Read more

Smart, Compliant Hiring Decisions Made Easy

FYI Screening can help your company navigate the compliance maze. You’ll feel confident that you’re using the most up-to-date, accurate information available to ensure a safe and compliant environment for your workforce and customers.

Photo credit: kelp1966

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