“Ban the Box” laws prohibit or limit an employer’s ability to ask a job applicant about his or her criminal record. States, counties and cities have enacted this legislation to help applicants with criminal records combat additional barriers to securing employment. We’ve written about these laws as enacted in New Jersey, Washington, D.C., New York City, and California.

In this post, we’ll provide an overview of the “ban the box” provision in Massachusetts, discussing recent modifications which become effective October 13, 2018 and recent warnings issued by the Attorney General’s Office.

TLDR: All Massachusetts employers should ensure that their application forms and hiring practices comply with the “ban the box” provision.

Continue Reading “Ban the Box” Updates in Massachusetts

Following in the footsteps of neighboring jurisdictions such as New York City, Albany County, and Massachusetts, on April 10, 2018, Westchester County enacted legislation to ban inquiries into a job applicant’s salary history. The stated purpose of the law is to halt the perpetuation of the gender wage gap and to assist older workers and others returning to the workforce after a long hiatus.

Continue Reading Update on Salary History Laws: The Ban Expands to Westchester, NY

As we reported in an earlier blog post, the Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice issued guidance in the waning days of the Obama administration reminding HR professionals and others that the antitrust laws could apply in the employment arena, particularly with respect to hiring and compensation matters. There was some question about how vigorously the Trump Administration’s antitrust enforcement would be in this area, but those questions should no longer exist. 2018 is already turning out to likely be an important year regarding antitrust attacks on “no-poach” agreements between businesses, with a class being certified in a major damage action and the head of the Department of Justice Antitrust Division indicating last month that criminal indictments based upon such agreements would be shortly forthcoming. Executives and HR Departments should recognize the significant risks associated with express or implied agreements or “understandings”—or even “gentlemen’s agreements”—where businesses agree not to hire (or poach) each other’s employees or executives.

Continue Reading Antitrust Attacks on “No-Poach” Agreements Between Employers Accelerating

This past year, a growing number of states and municipalities banished the Ghost of Christmas Past from haunting job applicants. As a result, employers in those jurisdictions must resolve now to bid auld lang syne to asking applicants about their salary and criminal histories. Employers should take a fresh look at their job applications, and hiring practices, policies and procedures and update them now to remain in compliance in the New Year.

Continue Reading New Year’s Resolution #3: New Year, New Hiring Practices – Resolve to Bid Auld Lang Syne to Outdated Job Applications

Recent cases in New York and Pennsylvania demonstrate that, at least in some jurisdictions and under some circumstances, a plaintiff can state a valid claim for unlawful gender discrimination based on a spouse’s jealousy.

Continue Reading Spousal Jealousy Can Lead to a Viable Claim of Unlawful Gender Discrimination

Employment CourtshipYes I realize that had my Corporate Divorce series progressed in a linear way, I would have started with The Courtship instead of The Break Up, but employment law metaphors are sometimes unpredictable.  In my defense, I note that if you end up in divorce, you must have started with marriage, so there is a certain logic to this after all.

Marriage typically (though not always) starts with courtship, which is the “wooing of one person by another” and the “period during which such wooing takes place.”  It occurred to me that the marriage metaphor is particularly apt for the very unique “wooing” that takes place during the employment recruiting process.  And, like the courtship process, there is, during this time, some significant insecurities regarding how a love interest (or a prospective employer) might actually feel about you.  An employer’s feelings toward a recruit are often, though not always, expressed through financial and other tangible benefits.

How do you test that theory without turning off your suitor?  The answer is to use your courtship period to your financial benefit without spoiling the mood. It can be done but it must be done with care.

Continue Reading Corporate Divorce Series: The Courtship of Employment Negotiation

Treat Your Employment Contract Like a Prenuptial AgreementWelcome to the latest installment in my corporate divorce series.  In my last article I gave some practical advice about how to handle an unexpected firing – a corporate break-up. Now I’m moving to the other end of the employment life cycle: hiring and negotiation of the employment contract.

Continue Reading Corporate Divorce: Treat Your Employment Contract Like a Prenup

Written by Martha Zackin.

On October 20, 2010, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission held a hearing on employer use of credit history as tool to screen candidates for employment.  The purpose of the hearing, according to an EEOC press release, was to gather information on the practice of using credit histories as employment screening devices, a practice that “could unfairly exclude” some people from job opportunities.

Continue Reading Will EEOC Target Employer use of Credit Reports for Screening Applicants?