This article was originally published on the “Delaware Non-Compete Law Blog“
By Scott A. Holt
The use of employee covenants not to compete – once restricted to salespeople and high-level management – has continued to expand into the ranks of ordinary employees. A recent survey suggests that as many as one in five employees have some form of agreement placing restrictions on their post-employment activities. Continue reading
Investigating complaints of inappropriate workplace conduct is a difficult challenge for any number of reasons. But conducting an immediate and thorough investigation is critical to both preventing lawsuits and to avoiding liability should a lawsuit arise. Human-resource professionals often ask for tips in handling this challenge. Here are three.
First, don’t be shy. An investigation of workplace harassment is not the time to be timid. Ask the tough questions and be direct. Don’t mince words or dance around the questions. Consider writing out the questions that you need answers to and actually check them off your list. If you don’t ask a straight question, you’ll never get a straight answer. Continue reading
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
Do employers search social-media sites, like Facebook and Twitter, before hiring a potential employee? Yes. Like it or not, they do. Sometimes as part of an official screening process but, more often than not, the act of Googling is simply second nature and is done without any advance planning or thought.
And, as a result of these online searches, do employers screen out candidates for unlawful reasons, such as race, religion, or pregnancy? Yes, says the results of a recent survey reported by the Wall Street Journal. Continue reading
The EEOC suffered another defeat this week, being ordered again to pay the fees and costs incurred by an employer after the EEOC’s claims turned out to be without merit. IN EEOC v. Peoplemark, Inc., A split 6th Circuit affirmed an award of approximately $750,000 in fees and costs incurred by a temp agency in defending against one of the EEOC’s criminal-history cases. The EEOC contended that the temp agency’s company-wide policy barring employment to individuals with felony records had a disparate impact on Black candidates.
The temp agency, PeopleMark, had offices in five states. In 2005, a Black candidate, Sherri Scott filed a Charge of Discrimination, alleging that she had been denied employment because she had a felony conviction. In fact, Scott had two felony convictions and had been released from prison less than a month before she applied for a job with PeopleMark.
And it gets worse. Continue reading
Anthony Weiner is in the headlines again. Last week, he told reporters that, since he left Congress in 2011, he’s sent salacious messages to numerous women, according to the NY Daily News. This latest revelation has caused quite the stir but Weiner says that he’ll stay in the race for Mayor of New York City. Continue reading