Criminal histories and credit scores will soon be an off-limit topic for job applications in Delaware’s public sector. HB 167 passed the Delaware Senate on May 1, 2014, and is expected to be signed into law by Gov. Markell soon.
As we previously reported, the bill would prohibit public employers and contractors with State agencies from:
inquiring into or considering the criminal record, criminal history, or credit history or score of an applicant before it makes a conditional offer to the applicant.
So-called “ban-the-box” initiatives, which limit employers’ inquiries into an applicant’s criminal history, have been adopted by several cities and municipalities. Philadelphia adopted such a law in the Spring of 2011. The City of Wilmington joined the ban-the-box bandwagon in Fall 2012, when then-Mayor Baker signed an executive order that removed a question about criminal convictions from job applications. But that executive order applied only to applicants seeking work with the City of Wilmington. Other Delaware employers have not been subject to these restrictions.
A bill is pending in the Delaware legislature, though, would change that and more if passed. Continue reading
“Give Me Some Credit!” Maybe that’s how the EEOC feels these days, after its high-profile suit against Kaplan Higher Education Corp. was dismissed on January 28, 2013. As readers may remember, the EEOC sued Kaplan in 2010, alleging that its pre-employment credit check policies had a disparate impact upon Black job applicants. Continue reading
Employers’ Ban-the-Box initiatives are taking hold in many states and municipalities. The City of Wilmington has joined the ranks of employers no longer requiring information on an applicant’s criminal history at the time of job application. Mayor Baker signed an executive order on Monday that removes a question about criminal convictions from city job applications.
According to Mayor Baker, the city will now conduct criminal background checks only on applicants who have received a conditional job offer. Public safety jobs in the police and fire departments are the only positions excluded from the order. Continue reading
Delaware employers in the long-term- and community-care industries are subject to new background-check requirements. The Delaware Code as amended by S.B. 216 to establish an electronic web-based “background check center” for employment in long-term care or community settings. S.B. 216 was signed by Gov. Markell on July 5, 2012. Continue reading
Employers’ use of social media as part of the hiring process continues to make the news. Although much has been made of the nuances of the idea, cyber-screening can be performed lawfully and with positive results–when it’s done properly. When it’s not, though, there can be lots of significant consequences.
To avoid the risks associated with cyber-screening (or to combat a fear of the unknown, perhaps), some employers have turned the task to outside vendors. Instead of performing a Google search on a candidate as part of the in-house screening process, some employers are paying a third party to conduct the search as part of the background check. Continue reading
Employers who request an employee’s or job applicant’s Facebook password continue to face pushback in legislatures across the country. As I posted last week, several states have introduced bills that would prohibit this type of coerced Facebook access. These states are following Maryland’s example–Maryland was the first (and only, at the moment), to pass this type of law.
Two U.S. Senators were the first on the bandwagon, though, but their bill was unsuccessful. But a new version of the bill made its way back to the House of Representatives on Friday, courtesy of New York congressman Eliot Engel (D). Continue reading
The EEOC released Guidance on the Consideration of Arrest and Conviction Records Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (PDF)
This guidance, issued on April 25, 2012has been much anticipated since the EEOC held a public hearing on this topic last summer. If you were not already aware of the issue, the crux is this: arrest and incarceration rates are significantly higher in certain ethnic groups than others. African Americans and Hispanics are arrested at a rate that is 2 to 3 times their proportion of the general population. Therefore, if an employer exclude individuals based solely on their criminal records, that decision is likely to disproportionately affect certain ethnic groups, thereby violating Title VII. Continue reading
Maryland was the first state to pass legislation prohibiting employers from requiring an employee or applicant to turn over his or her Facebook password or log-in information for other social-networking sites.
On April 19, 2012, a similar law moved forward in the California state legislature. Continue reading
Maryland was the first state in the country to pass legislation that would prohibit employers from requesting or requiring an applicant or employee to turn over his or her password to a social-networking account, such as Facebook. As I mentioned in the end of my post about the Maryland bill, California and Illinois had similar pieces of legislation in the works. Continue reading