When it comes to effective hiring, employers often find themselves caught in the middle of competing laws. On one hand, a single bad hire can result in a legal and financial nightmare, including lawsuits for negligent hiring, unqualified employees, loss of business, and even workplace violence. At the same time, employee selection and background screening has become increasingly regulated by new state and federal legislation, regulation, and litigation, especially class action lawsuits. Consequently, employers must carefully navigate through the hiring and screening process to not only avoid bad hires, but also prevent legal action by ensuring an applicant’s rights were not violated.
For example, an increasing number of states, counties, and cities have passed “Ban the Box” laws that prohibit asking about an applicant’s criminal record on the initial application. These laws have morphed into Fair Chance hiring laws that go even further in regulating how employers obtain and use criminal records. In addition, the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued guidance in 2012 that every employer needs to understand before taking criminal records into account. This is part of an effort to provide ex-offenders with a second chance.
It is widely recognized that there is a need to provide a second chance to ex-offenders who represent an underutilized talent pool that can help many employers. Recidivism and the associated costs to society are greatly reduced when an ex-offender obtains employment. Studies suggest that ex-offenders can make excellent workers. However, employers still need to exercise due diligence in hiring and to manage risk.
Another recent development involves laws that prohibit employers from asking about past salary. Salary secrecy laws are intended to combat historic gender pay gaps, so that everyone is treated fairly. However, hiring managers and human resources departments must understand how to correctly implement these laws in their organizations.
In addition, class-action lawsuits under the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), the law that governs background checks, remain a concern for employers. Even with the United States Supreme Court’s recent ruling that may tend to limit claims based on mere technical violations that did not result in harm, any employee who makes hiring decisions must take careful consideration and have an understanding of the law.
Upon course completion, you will be able to describe:
- What every employer needs to know about ban-the-box laws, Fair Chance Hiring Laws, and restrictions on asking about past salaries
- Other laws and best practices that impact hiring, background checks, and due diligence
- How to ensure compliance with the FCRA
- Best practices for compliance with the EEOC guidance on discovering and using criminal records
- The importance of implementing a process for the “Individualized Assessment” of criminal records
- How to handle cutting edge issues such as credit reports, social media, and ongoing criminal checks