Wounded Fort Bragg soldier, Sgt. Jonathon Rivenbark, receives gift of mobility from CARCO Group

Rivenbark2_2CARCO Group was honored to team with the nonprofit 4 Wheel 2 Heal to donate an Action TrackChair to wounded Fort Bragg soldier, Sgt. Jonathon Rivenbark, to give him a gift of mobility.

Sgt. Rivenbark was deployed with the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, when he was wounded in Afghanistan last year. The injuries killed the nerves in Rivenbark’s legs. To walk, he uses crutches and an implant that sends a shock through his nervous system to make his legs move. He’s limited to just a few hundred yards an outing.

Many of CARCO Group’s employees in its Spring Lake office are veterans and the company wanted to give back to the Fort Bragg community.

Ultimately, the company decided on donating the chair to a wounded soldier on Fort Bragg.

John Davidson, CARCO’s Vice President of Research Operations and a veteran himself, said the company worked with the Warrior Transition Battalion to find Rivenbark, who originally didn’t think he deserved the chair.

“That’s when I knew we had the right guy,” Davidson said. “He has an exceptionally bright future. This will provide a level of mobility he doesn’t have now.”

Riverbank, who likes the outdoors, said he and his wife, Yulia, would test it on Fort Bragg’s trails this weekend.

California Continues the Trend of “Ban the Box” Laws

SB 530 – State and Local Government

California Governor Jerry Brown has signed into law a bill (SB 530) that bans state and local government employers from asking job applicants about their criminal record until later in the hiring process. The bill goes into effect on January 1, 2014 and amends Labor Code section 432.7.

According to Assemblyman Roger Dickinson, the bill’s author, an estimated 1-in-4 adult Californians has an arrest or conviction record. Advocates of the bill say the criminal history question has a chilling effect at a time when U.S. unemployment tops 7 percent and 65 million Americans have spent time behind bars.

AB 218 – Public and Private Employers

The Governor also signed Assembly Bill 218 which requires that public and private employers determine a job applicant’s minimum qualifications before they ask about the person’s conviction history. This means removing the check-box questions common on many applications that ask, “Have you ever been convicted of a felony?”

Bill 218 takes effect on July 1, 2014, at which time employers will have to wait until later in the hiring process to inquire about a job candidate’s criminal past.

Exemptions include:

(1) The employer is required by law to obtain information regarding a conviction of an applicant.

(2) The applicant would be required to possess or use a firearm in the course of his or her employment.

(3) An individual who has been convicted of a crime is prohibited by law from holding the position sought by the applicant, regardless of whether that conviction has been expunged, judicially ordered sealed, statutorily eradicated, or judicially dismissed following probation.

(4) The employer is prohibited by law from hiring an applicant who has been convicted of a crime.

Recommended Action

The “Ban the Box” movement continues to gain steam as the number of state and local laws affording employment-related protections to ex-offenders continually grows. Employers should thoroughly assess their hiring processes on an ongoing basis to ensure compliance with the ever-changing state and local laws where they operate and hire.

 

 

To view California Senate Bill 530, visit: http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201320140SB530

Illinois Governor Signs ‘Ban the Box’ Administrative Order for State Employers

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed an administrative order to ‘Ban the Box’ barring STATE employers from asking job applicants about their felony records. This administrative order does not apply to private employers.

As in all Ban the Box legislation, this administrative order does not prohibit state agencies from conducting background checks. It simply means applications for state government jobs will no longer include a box indicating whether an applicant has pled guilty, or been convicted of a criminal offense.

Gov. Quinn’s order makes Illinois part of the national Ban the Box trend.

Nevada Becomes 10th State to Restrict Use of Credit Checks in Hiring

Effective October 1, 2013, Nevada Senate Bill S.B. 127 limits employers’ use of an applicant’s or employee’s credit history in hiring and personnel issues. The bill, which was signed on May 25, 2013 by Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval, adds Nevada to the list of other states that have similar laws: California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Oregon, Vermont, Colorado and Washington. This trend is expected to continue at both the state and federal level. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) also continues to actively investigate the use of credit reports by some employers.

The New Law’s Requirements

Nevada Senate Bill 127 amends Chapter 613 (Employment Practices) of the Nevada Revised Statutes to restrict the ability of employers to use an employee or prospective employee’s “consumer credit report” or any “consumer credit information” for employment purposes.

Prohibitions

An employer may not:

  • Directly or indirectly, require, request, suggest, or cause any employee or prospective employee to submit a consumer credit report or other credit information as a condition of employment.
  • Use, accept, refer to, or inquire about a consumer credit report or other credit information.

Further, employers may not discharge, discipline, discriminate against in any manner, deny employment or promotion to, or threaten to take any such action against any employee or prospective employee:

  • Who refuses, declines, or fails to submit a consumer credit report or other credit information.
  • On the basis of the results of a consumer credit report or other credit information.
  • Who has filed any complaint, instituted or caused to be instituted any legal proceeding, or has testified or may testify in any legal proceeding instituted pursuant to the new law.
  • Who has exercised his or her rights, or has exercised on behalf of another person the rights afforded to him or her under the new law.

Exceptions

Exceptions include circumstances where:

  • The employer is required or authorized, pursuant to state or federal law, to use a consumer credit report or other credit information for an accepted purpose;
  • The employer reasonably believes that the employee or prospective employee has engaged in specific activity that may constitute a violation of state or federal law; or
  • The information contained in the consumer credit report or other credit information is reasonably related to the position for which the employee or prospective employee is being evaluated for an accepted purpose.

The new Nevada law defines “reasonably related” to mean, where the duties of the position involve:

  • The care, custody and handling of, or responsibility for, money, financial accounts, corporate credit or debit cards, or other assets;
  • Access to trade secrets or other proprietary or confidential information;
  • Managerial or supervisory responsibility;
  • The direct exercise of law enforcement authority as an employee of a state or local law enforcement agency;
  • The care, custody and handling of, or responsibility for, the personal information of another person;
  • Access to the personal financial information of another person;
  • Employment with a financial institution chartered under state or federal law, including a subsidiary or affiliate of such a financial institution; or
  • Employment with a licensed gaming establishment (as defined by statute).

Remedies

The new law provides for both a public and a private right of action. Specifically, aggrieved employees and prospective employees may file a private lawsuit against employers that violate the new law. Courts are authorized to award a successful plaintiff the following remedies:

  • Employment, reinstatement, or promotion to the position at issue.
  • Lost wages and benefits.
  • Attorney’s fees and costs.
  • Any other equitable relief the court deems appropriate.

On the public enforcement side, the Nevada law grants the Labor Commissioner the authority to impose penalties in an amount up to $9,000 per violation against employers that violate the law. The Labor Commissioner may also initiate a lawsuit against the employer to obtain equitable relief including employment, reinstatement, and promotion for the aggrieved employee.

The new law includes a generous three-year statute of limitations.

Next Steps for Employers

Nevada employers or those that hire from Nevada should carefully evaluate their hiring processes to ensure compliance. Employers should also continue to monitor efforts in Congress to regulate the use of credit history information, as well as advisory guidance from, and litigation initiated by, the EEOC in this area.

To view Nevada Senate Bill 127, visit http://www.leg.state.nv.us/Session/77th2013/Bills/SB/SB127.pdf

 

IMPORTANT EVENT – Best Practices Standards for Use of Criminal Records in Hiring Conference

Best Practices Standards for Use of Criminal Records in Hiring Conference
Frederick G. Giles, SVP CARCO Group, Inc.,and  immediate past Chair of National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) is a presenter at the upcoming Best Practices Standards Conference.

When:  Friday, October 25, 2013 9:00 am – 3:30 pm Registration Fee: $125
Where:  John Jay College of Criminal Justice 524 West 59th Street New York, New York

WHO SHOULD ATTEND?

» Human resources managers and business owners and managers

» Security directors involved in employment decisions

» Attorneys advising and representing employers regarding hiring and other employment decisions

» Staff of programs assisting persons with convictions re-entering the community and the workforce

 

Could your organization use a clearer guide to using criminal history records in hiring without prompting complaints of employment discrimination? A team of civil rights organizations working with leading members of the background screening industry has developed such a guide, Best Practices Standards: The Proper Use of Criminal Records in Hiring. The publication, provided to all registrants at this conference, outlines practical steps employers and background screeners can use in investigating and evaluating job applicants while complying with the Enforcement Guidance on the Consideration of Arrest and Conviction Records in Employment Decisions (EEOC, April, 2012), and relevant state laws. A panel of distinguished speakers will discuss applying the report’s 20 Best Practices Standards on the Use of Criminal Background Checks in Hiring Decisions.

 

Event Sponsors: John Jay Prisoner Reentry Institute, Legal Action Center, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, National Workrights Institute

Featured Speakers: Honorable Jacqueline Berrien, Chair, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

President Jeremy Travis, John Jay College of Criminal Justice

 

For more details on the conference, download this PDF.