By this time, most employers realize that the Fair Credit Reporting Act governs all types of employment-related background checks, not just credit checks. If and to the extent there was ever any question whether Google searches or searches of various social media sites constitute “background checks” subject to the FCRA, that question has been put to rest with an $800,000 settlement with Spokeo, Inc. Further, if and to the extent there was ever a question about whether the FTC was serious about enforcing the FCRA, that question, too, has been put to rest with a $2.6 million dollar settlement between the Federal Trade Commission and HireRight Solutions, Inc.
According to a press release issued today, the EEOC has issued an updated Enforcement Guidance, relating to the use of arrest and conviction records in making employment decisions under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. According to the release, the Enforcement Guidance "updates relevant data, consolidates previous EEOC policy statements on this issue into a single document and illustrates how Title VII applies to various scenarios that an employer might encounter when considering the arrest or conviction history of a current or prospective employee."
The Enforcement Guidance and an associated Q & A document will be released and posted on the EEOC website. We will update this entry when we have had the chance to review and analyze this new development.
My colleague, Jillian M. Collins, published an alert today reminding readers that the remaining changes from the 2010 overhaul of the Massachusetts Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) law will go into effect on May 4, 2012. We first addressed changes to the CORI law in an alert published in September 2010, when the “ban the box” provision prohibited most employers from requesting criminal history information on an initial employment application. To read the full alert, click here.
In addition to the California Wage Theft Protection Act, which you can read about here, and thanks to AB 22, California employers will be ringing in the new year with a new California Labor Code provision, Labor Code Section 1024.5, and an amendment to California’s Consumer Credit Reporting Agencies Act (CCRAA), Civil Code Section 1785.20.5. These new laws will limit private and public sector employers’ discretion to use “consumer credit reports” for hiring and personnel decisions. Effective January 1, 2012, both will impose certain notice and disclosure obligations on employers.