Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Guidelines

Apr 27, 2012
On April 25, 2012, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued new guidelines for employee background checks, both for pre-employment screening and existing employee background checks.  The EEOC did this without releasing a draft for public notice and comment, as is usually done before final guidelines are issued.  Given this unilateral action on the part of the EEOC, it is expected that Congress and many industry groups will challenge these guidelines.  Although the EEOC does not govern the FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act, which does in fact regulate employee background checks), an EEOC investigation of an employer's practices can cost an employer much time and money, responding to their questions and requests for documents, even when the EEOC does not choose to litigate.  So here are some suggestions to help maintain compliance with these EEOC guidelines.  1. Treat all applicants with similar criminal histories equally, particularly employees within the same job classification. 2.  Do not have blanket policies excluding any individual with any criminal history.  Rather you should consider (a) the nature and gravity of the criminal conviction, (b) the time that has…

New York Employee Screening Laws

Feb 01, 2009
Effective today there is a new law for companies employing or background screening individuals in the State of New York.  So if your company performs employee screening in New York State, here is would you should know. There are three components with this new law: 1. All companies in the State of New York or employing individuals in the State of New York must post a copy of Article 23-A of the New York Corrections Law conspicuously in the workplace. 2. All companies background screening employees for positions in the State of New York that receive a consumer report with a criminal conviction listed therein must provide a copy of Article 23-A to the applicant informing the applicant that you, i.e., the employer, has received such a report. 3. Any company that background screens its employees in the State of New York and that requests an investigative consumer report must provide a copy of the law at the point when it provides notice to the individual of the procurement of an investigative consumer report and at the time the employer obtains authorization from the individual. Please note that not all consumer reports constitute an investigative consumer report under the laws of t…