Employers have long been under an obligation to provide employees and prospective employees with prior written notice that a credit report – a “consumer report” in the language of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) – may be obtained about them.  The FCRA specifically requires this notice to be “in a document that consists solely of the disclosure,” although the Act elsewhere clarifies that the disclosure may also contain an authorization by the employee or applicant for procurement of the report.  Recent court decisions, settlements, and new lawsuits have highlighted the importance of ensuring compliance with this provision of the FCRA.
Continue Reading Employers Cautioned to Review Disclosures for FCRA Compliance

On April 25, the EEOC approved enforcement guidance on an employer’s use of criminal background checks in making hiring decisions. By a 4-1 vote, the EEOC clarified that a criminal background check is not unlawful.

BUT, the Commission explained its view that the use of criminal histories can be discriminatory in “impact” on minorities and will result in liability for employers if they cannot show “business necessity” for rejecting an applicant based on the applicant’s criminal past.Continue Reading EEOC Issues Guidance on Criminal Background Checks

Magnifying glassThe EEOC has renewed the debate recently on an employer’s use of background checks in hiring.  Nothing new right?  You know you cannot use arrest records but only convictions because in this country, all are innocent until proven guilty.  But the renewed debate is whether use of conviction records is unlawfully discriminating against minorities.

In evaluating use of conviction records, employers must balance their exposure for possible “adverse impact” discrimination claims and their exposure for negligent hiring or retention claims.  For more on this debate, The Wall Street Journal has a good post on its Law Blog.Continue Reading Why the Renewed Debate on Criminal Background Checks?