Connecticut Becomes the Sixth State to Enact Legislation Prohibiting the Use of Credit History in Hiring Decisions

On July 13, 2011, Connecticut Governor Malloy enacted legislation that will prohibit certain employers from using credit reports in hiring decisions. 

The new law goes into effect on October 1, 2011, and will  prohibit employers from requiring an employee or prospective employee to consent to a request for a credit report as a condition of employment.  Exceptions to the statute are employers that are financial institutions, credit reports required to be obtained by employers by law, and credit reports substantially related to the employee’s current or potential job. 

Credit reports that are “substantially related to the employee’s current or potential job” are allowable if the position:

  1. Is a managerial position that involves setting the direction or control of a business, division, unit or an agency of a business; 
  2. Involves access to customers’, employees’ or the employer’s personal or financial information, other than information customarily provided in a retail transaction; 
  3. Involves a fiduciary responsibility to the employer, as defined under the law; 
  4. Provides an expense account or corporate debit or credit card; 
  5. Provides access to certain confidential or proprietary business information, as defined under the law; or 
  6. Involves access to the employer’s nonfinancial assets valued at $2,005 or more, including, but not limited to, museum and library collections and to prescription drugs and other pharmaceuticals.

Connecticut joins Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Oregon, and Washington as states that currently prohibit the use of credit history in employment decisions.

There’s no time like the present for employers  to ensure that their hiring processes are in compliance with applicable federal and state laws, including the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act.

New White Paper: The Impact of I-9 and E-Verify Legislation on U.S. Employers

The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 has been in effect for the past 25 years.  However, it has just recently started to attract daily media coverage.  This attention to the law came as the Obama administration has made it a priority to crack down heavily on companies that employ illegal workers. 

During the Bush administration, the focus of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) was on finding and taking into custody as many illegal workers as possible.  The Obama administration has chosen to attack the issue from a different angle with the focus being on the employers who hire illegal workers.  The high-profile raids, arrests and deportations of the 2000’s have shifted to audits, fines and prosecutions.

This is such a hot topic for companies that CARCO has created a white paper that examines the current status of I-9 and E-Verify legislation and how changes have and may continue to impact U.S. employers, how companies can avoid the magnifying glass of ICE, what documentation is acceptable for I-9 compliance, ramifications of non-compliance, and what tools are available to companies to ensure compliance.

For more information on I-9 compliance and to get a free copy of this white paper, please visit www.carcogroup.com.

Alert: EEOC Hearing Scheduled on Use of Criminal Records

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) will hold a meeting on the use of criminal records for employment screening purposes on Tuesday, July 26, in Washington, D.C.  The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS), which we are members of, is preparing comments for submittal to the EEOC on the relevance and benefits of access to criminal history records by employers.  NAPBS is also partnering with other associations and coalitions as we move toward the July meeting date. This will be a full Commission meeting, meaning all five Commissioners and EEOC’s General Counsels will attend. This includes Chairwoman Jacqueline Berrien, Commissioner Chai Feldblum, Commissioner Stuart Ishimaru, Commissioner Vicky Lipnic and Commissioner Constance Barker.  A formal agenda has not yet been released but it is excepted there will be multiple panels including academics, lawyers, victim’s groups (i.e., those who have been denied employment due to their criminal history), government officials, litigants from the El v. Septa case and others.

Given the importance of this meeting to our industry and you as employers, we want to ensure that you are aware of this upcoming meeting and have the opportunity to join in our efforts to ensure that the interests of the providers and users of criminal records are represented.  The role of the use of criminal records in employment screening will be the focus of this meeting and as employers have an important stake in what is being considered during the meeting, we encourage you to add this date to your calendar and make plans to attend the hearing on July 26 if possible.  The meeting will be open to the public and it will not be webcast or televised, although a transcript will be available after the meeting.

Minnesota Government Shutdown

As many of you might have already  heard, Minnesota’s state government began a broad shut down today after the Democratic governor and the Republican legislative leaders failed to agree on a budget.   This means that approximately 23,000 to 36,000 state employees will be furloughed and all but the most critical state functions will be suspended. 

For those of you who are conducting background checks on applicants, motor vehicle services in Minnesota are suspended and MVR checks cannot be conducted.  The court searches, however, will continue as usual.  Currently, there is no estimated time as to when motor vehicle services will be reinstated.  We will keep you posted as changes develop.