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ALL OTHER LEGAL ARTICLE INDEX FOR 2019 FROM THE BACKGROUND BUZZ (57)


Strict Updates to Massachusetts ‘Ban the Box’ Law

JANUARY I MASSACHUSETTS: The state of Massachusetts has adopted a new criminal justice reform that significantly alters existing “ban the box” laws.

Littler’s Workplace Policy Institutes State of the States: What a Difference a Month Makes

FEBRUARY I NATIONAL: More than 1,000 state-level labor and employment-related bills were introduced in just the first month of 2019, covering arbitration agreements to workplace bullying.

One Simple Step Congress and the Courts Must Take to Increase Accuracy in Background Checks MARCH I NATIONAL: The Hill details the issues surrounding policymakers’ roles on the impact of the overall effectiveness of a background check.

Florida Legislature Proposes State Biometric Information Privacy Act

MARCH I FLORIDA: Two bills that address biometric information privacy were part of the 60-day Florida Legislature session.

Ban the Box Movement Takes Aim at College Applications

MARCH I COLORADO: A bill that was pending in the Colorado legislature could remove the requirement that higher education institution applicants reveal their conviction histories.

State Regulators Slap Largest Fine in Background Check Case Against Energy Marketer

MARCH I TEXAS: Houston’s Visa Energy Marketing faced a more than $50,000 fine for hiring door-to-door salespeople without first conducting background checks.

In Oklahoma, Medical Use of Marijuana is OK, But Employers Now Have Enhanced Rights to Act

MARCH I OKLAHOMA: Intended to bring together members of law enforcement, business, and medical marijuana patients, a law was signed that amends the state’s medical marijuana law.

New Jersey Poised to Enact First Recreational Marijuana Law Protecting Workers from Adverse Employment Action

MARCH I NEW JERSEY: New Jersey’s Cannabis Regulatory and Expungement Aid Modernization Act would legalize the recreational use of marijuana for adults older than 21.

Utah Lawmaker Proposes ‘Clean Slate’ Law to Automatically Wipe Away Nonviolent Criminal Records

MARCH I UTAH: Utah’s “Clean Slate” law – House Bill 431 – would automatically expunge certain misdemeanor crimes after a designated time has passed.

Lawsuits Allege Gig-Economy Workers Fall Victim to Checkr’s Artificial Intelligence

MARCH I NATIONAL: Background screening company Checkr has seen an increase in the number of lawsuits it faces and Artificial Intelligence could be to blame.

Proposed Amendments to FCRA Legislation Would Significantly Impact Employment Background Checks

MARCH I NATIONAL: A draft legislation to amend the FCRA could have a significant impact on the information available to employers from CRAs for background screening purposes.

New Mexico Adopts Ban-The-Box, Expungement Laws

APRIL I NEW MEXICO: Legislation has been adopted in New Mexico that prohibits private employers from making inquiries into an applicant’s criminal history on the initial employment application.

Bill Clarifying Background Checks Requirement for People Involved in Medical Marijuana Businesses Heads to Whitmer’s Desk

APRIL I MICHIGAN: Senate Bill 203 would amend the Medical Marijuana Facilities Act by requiring background checks on many new categories, including managerial employees of the applicant.

House Oversight Committee Approves ‘Ban the Box’ Bill for Agencies, Contractors

APRIL I NATIONAL: The House Oversight and Reform Committee passed a bipartisan bill that would “ban the box” and prohibit federal agencies and contractors from asking applicants about criminal history until after a conditional employment offer has been made.

New York City Council Passes Ban on Pre-Employment Marijuana Testing

APRIL I NEW YORK CITY: Under a new bill approved by the City Council, New York City employers wouldn’t be allowed to require job candidates to submit to drug testing for marijuana as a condition of hiring.

Ninth Circuit Weighs in on Calculating the FCRAs’ Seven-Year Reporting Rule

MAY I CALIFORNIA: A Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision holds that the measuring period for a criminal charge runs from the date of entry rather than the date of disposition.

Washington Amends its Equal Pay Law to Enact Salary History Ban and Require Disclosure of Salary Ranges

MAY I WASHINGTON: Washington has become the third state on the Pacific Coast to pass legislation prohibiting employers’ inquiries into applicant salary history.

Maine and Cincinnati (Ohio) Join the Growing List of Jurisdictions Banning Salary History Inquiries

MAY I MAINE/OHIO: Maine and Cincinnati both now prohibit employers from making salary history inquiries of potential employees.

FTC Announces Amendments to Rule Providing Model Forms and Disclosures to Facilitate Compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act

JUNE I NATIONAL: The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has approved publication of a Federal Register notice announcing the rescission of several model forms and disclosures under the FCRA.

Alaska Court Rules Sex Offender Registration Law Violates Due Process

JUNE I ALASKA: Alaska’s Supreme Court ruled in favor of a registered sex offender who claimed the Alaska Sex Offender Registration Act (ASORA) violated his right to privacy and his right to pursue employment.

Are You Background Checking Your Contractors? If So, Exercise Caution

JUNE I NATIONAL: The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently re-emphasized the requirements of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) for non-employees that are engaged for service.

New York Passes Fingerprint Bill Requiring Background Checks on School Employees

JUNE I NEW YORK: The Fingerprint Bill has been passed by the New York Senate that requires all religious and private schools in the state to run fingerprints and a background check on potential employees.

The Risks of Assembling Consumer Information

JUNE I NATIONAL: The Second Circuit held that a business may not be liable under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) for publishing false information unless it was intended to be a “consumer report.”

Colorado Becomes 13th State to Pass ‘Ban the Box’ Legislation

JULY I COLORADO: Private employers with 11 or more employees in the state of Colorado are prohibited from inquiring about the criminal history of job applicants before they are hired.

Booker, Johnson Fair Chance Act Passes House

JULY I NATIONAL: The Fair Chance Act passed the House of Representatives as part of a larger package related to military defense.

Next Up for Salary History Ban: Toledo, Ohio

JULY I OHIO: Toledo’s salary history ban prohibits employers from refusing to hire or otherwise retaliate against an applicant for failing to disclose his or her salary history.

Toledo, Ohio, Passes Ban on Salary History Inquiries

JULY I OHIO: Effective June 25, 2020, Toledo will become the second state to enact a law that will prohibit employers from asking job applicants about salary history.

Delaware Amends Criminal Background Check Requirements for Mortgage Loan Broker and Licensed Lender Licenses

JULY I DELWARE: Delaware’s House Bill 199 authorizes the Delaware State Bank Commissioner to require individuals seeking financial services licenses to provide fingerprints for criminal background checks.

NJ Supreme Court to Rule on Medical Marijuana Protections

JULY I NEW JERSEY: The New Jersey Supreme Court was charged with determining whether the NJ Law Against Discrimination protections require employers to provide reasonable accommodations to employers who use medical marijuana.

Alaska Court Rules Sex Offender Registration Law Violates Due Process

JULY I ALASKA: A sex offender who moved to Alaska claimed the Alaska Sex Offender Registration Act violated his right to privacy, his right to pursue employment and his right to integrate into society.

NY Passes Fingerprint Bill Requiring Background Checks on School Employees

JULY I NEW YORK: New York’s Fingerprint Bill has been passed and requires all religious and private schools to run fingerprints and a background check on potential employees.

Employers Paid Out $174M to Resolve Background-Check Lawsuits

JULY I NATIONAL: Court records show that employers resolving class action lawsuits over alleged background check violations paid out a total of $174 million over the past decade.

Columbia First in SC to Pass ‘Ban the Box’ Ordinance

AUGUST I SOUTH CAROLINA: A former inmate who now works with Just Leadership USA pushed for an ordinance to make “Ban the Box” a state law, which now includes vendors who contract with the city.

Fifth Circuit Finds EEOC Overreached in Issuing Criminal Background Guidance

AUGUST I TEXAS: The Fifth Circuit found that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) exceeded its authority when it issued guidance that limited criminal background checks in hiring.

New Illinois Law Prevents Employers from Asking About Past Salary Information

AUGUST I ILLINOIS: Illinois employers are now prohibited from asking for an employer’s wage history during the hiring process.

New Jersey Passes New Salary History Ban

AUGUST I NEW JERSEY: Legislation has been signed in New Jersey that prohibits employers from requesting or relying on a job applicant’s salary history in hiring and pay-setting decisions.

Toledo Becomes Second Ohio City to Pass Salary History Ban

AUGUST I OHIO: The Pay Equity Act to Prohibit the Inquiry and Use of Salary History in Hiring Practices was signed in Ohio, prohibiting employers with 15 or more employees from asking about salary history.

FTC Approves Final Consent Order Setting Charges That Background Screening Company Falsely Claimed Compliance with EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework

AUGUST I NATIONAL: SecurTest, Inc. agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission (FTC) charges that its website falsely claimed that it participated in the EU-U.S. and Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield frameworks.

Does the FCRA Apply to Background Checks for Independent Contractors?

SEPTEMBER I GEORGIA: The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia has ruled that screening independent contractors doesn’t trigger the requirements for a background check for “employment purposes” under the law.

U.S. Federal Judge Rules Terrorist Watchlist Unconstitutional

SEPTEMBER I NATIONAL: The watchlist of “known or suspected terrorists” has been ruled unconstitutional by U.S. District Judge Anthony Trenga.

Colorado ‘Bans the Box’ for Private Employers on September 1, 2019

SEPTEMBER I COLORADO: Colorado has enacted the Colorado Chance to Compete Act, prohibiting employers from requiring applicants to disclose whether they have been convicted of a felony.

FCRA’s Seven-Year Reporting Window Begins with Charge, Not Dismissal

SEPTEMBER I NATIONAL: The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the measuring period for a criminal charge runs from the date of entry rather than the date of disposition under the FCRA.

Data Protection Laws Inspired by GDPR Are Spreading Across the World. Is New York Next?

SEPTEMBER I NEW YORK: New York politicians have drafted a Data Privacy Act very similar to the European Data Protection Regulation that gives New Yorkers more control over personal information.

FCRA Filings Rose Sharply Over Past Decade

OCTOBER I NATIONAL: According to Lex Machina’s “Consumer Protection Litigation Report,” Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) cases rose dramatically over the past decade from 1,299 in 2010 to 3,582 in 2018.

Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Avoiding Accidental Liability under FCRA for Background Checks

OCTOBER I NATIONAL: Background checks can be a great way to determine the best candidate when making hiring decisions, however, they can also create a liability for employers under the FCRA.

California Employers Watch Out! Legal Minefields for Background Checks

NOVEMBER I CALIFORNIA: Employers in the state of California must remember that, in order to avoid liability, a job applicant can no longer be rejected because they have a criminal record.

California’s AB 5 Looms Large in 2020 for I-9 Compliance Managers

NOVEMBER I CALIFORNIA: A bill was signed in California that codifies a strict set of requirements that employers must use for determining whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor.

Credit Reporting Trade Association Seeks Injunction to Block NJ Law Requiring Credit Reports to be Made Available

NOVEMBER I NEW JERSEY: A lawsuit has been filed against the New Jersey Attorney General that seeks to block enforcement to revisions to NJ law that require nationwide consumer reporting agencies to make credit reports available in multiple languages.

Independent Contractors Gain New Rights in NYC Anti-Discrimination Law Update

NOVEMBER I NEW YORK CITY: The New York City Council updated its anti-discrimination rules to include independent contractors.

Judge Permits Yakima School District to Withhold Drug Screening Records

NOVEMBER I WASHINGTON: Yakima School District employee and applicant drug screening documents have been ruled exempt because they were part of an application for employment with the state.

Proposed Bill May Require Background Checks on Delivery Drivers

NOVEMBER I FLORIDA: A proposed bill in Tallahassee, Fla., will require background checks for delivery drivers, with the exception of UPS, FedEx or food delivery.

First Day on the Job and on Notice: When the Statute of Limitations Begins for Employer Background Checks

NOVEMBER I CALIFORNIA: Recent rulings suggest that the statute of limitations for an employee to file a claim for an alleged violation of federal and/or state background and credit checks can begin on the employee’s first day of work.

Seattle Landlords Fight for Right to Refuse Criminals Tenancy

NOVEMBER I WASHINGTON: Landlords in Seattle are fighting a local housing ordinance that forces them to accept potentially violent criminals as residential tenants.

FCRA Litigation on Track to Reach a New High

DECEMBER I NATIONAL: WebRecon LLC has reported that Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) litigation has increased by 8.7 percent year-over-year since 2011, with 4,163 claims filed through October 2019.

Pay Equity Litigation Update: How the EEOC Has Pursued Its Equal Pay Focus in Fiscal Year 2019

DECEMBER I NATIONAL: Recent decisions in Equal Pay Act (EPA) litigations confirm that such cases can be difficult to fight since they are often highly fact-driven.

Employee and Job Applicant Information is Exempt from CCPA Compliance for One More Year

DECEMBER I CALIFORNIA: Information collected from a natural person by a business if the individual is acting as a specific type of job applicant is exempt from CCPA compliance until January 2021.

EEOC Consent Decree Over Criminal History Background Checks Serves as a Reminder to Employers to Take a Fresh Look at Their Screening Process

DECEMBER I Criminal history can be a crucial tool in the employment decision process, but the EEOC warns against allowing it to have a disparate impact on minority applicants.