On April 21st, Home Depot USA, Inc. agreed to pay at least $1.8 million to settle a putative class action lawsuit for allegedly violating the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) over its background check policies.
According to the terms of the settlement, Home Depot would be required to pay between $15 and $100 to eligible members of the settlement class, which is estimated to be approximately 120,000.
The initial complaint alleged that Home Depot’s background check disclosure forms contained extraneous information other than a disclosure that the company would conduct a background check and obtain a credit report on the individual, a violation of the FCRA according to the plaintiff.
Fernandez v. Home Depot USA, Inc., No.8:13-cv-00648 (C.D. Cal., Apr. 21, 2015)
Announcement! Fred Giles, CARCO’s SVP, Research Division, will be interviewed on Privacy Pirate Radio Show!
Monday, April 27th, 2015, 8AM PT (11AM EST)
KUCI 88.9 FM in Irvine, CA
Streaming on www.KUCI.org
Listen to this interesting and timely interview and hear Fred discuss:
1. National Association of Professional Background Screeners
2. EEOC Guidelines
3. Employee background checks and credit reports
4. And more!
Tune in to learn from Fred’s 30+ years of experience and expertise in employment screening!
Click here to learn more about Fred Giles and his experience in the industry!
On April 21, 2015, Gov. Pete Shumlin signed an Executive Order to Ban the Box on state employment applications. This Ban the Box legislation will remove the question about criminal records from job applications for state employment. Background checks can be conducted only after an applicant has been found qualified for the position.
The Governor also highlighted Bill S.115 which will expand Vermont’s expungement law, making more Vermonters eligible to have criminal convictions removed from their records by a judge.
“This is about giving those who have paid their debt to society a fair chance at a good job,” Gov. Shumlin said. “Nobody wins when Vermonters are trapped in a cycle of unemployment and re-incarceration.”
On April 14th, a federal district court granted LinkedIn Corp.’s (LinkedIn) motion to dismiss a putative class lawsuit alleging Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) violations by allowing businesses to check prospective employees’ references without the applicants’ knowledge.
LinkedIn argued that reference searches on LinkedIn profiles cannot be considered “consumer reports under the FCRA and that it, as a company, was not acting as a “consumer reporting agency.” The court agreed with LinkedIn, stating that “the facts alleged in plaintiffs’ complaint…support the inference that LinkedIn gathers the information about the employment histories of the subjects of the reference searches not to make consumer reports but to ‘carry out consumers’ information-sharing objectives.’
Sweet et al.v. LinkedIn Corporation, No.5:14-cv-04531 (N.D. Cal., Apr. 14, 2015)
Employers should know that there is legislation that could impact hiring practices in New York City. The New York City Council passed a law that would prohibit the use of credit checks to screen job applicants. The law currently sits on Mayor de Blasio’s desk awaiting signature and would go into effect 120 days after enactment.
Key provisions of the law are as follows:
- The term “consumer credit history” means an individual’s credit worthiness, credit standing, credit capacity, or payment history, as directed by: (a) a consumer credit report, (b) credit score, (c) information an employer obtains directly from the individual regarding (1) details about credit accounts, including the individual’s number of credit accounts, late or missed payments, charged-off debts, items in collections, credit limit, prior credit report inquiries, or (2) bankruptcies, judgments or liens. A consumer credit report shall include any written or other communication of any information by a consumer reporting agency that bears on a consumer’s credit worthiness, credit standing, credit capacity or credit history.
- Except as provided in this subdivision, it shall be unlawful discriminatory practice for an employer, labor organization, employment agency, or agent thereof to request or to use for employment purposes the consumer credit history of an applicant for employment or employee, or otherwise discriminate against an applicant or employee with regard to hiring, compensation, or the terms, conditions or privileges of employment based on the consumer credit history of the applicant or employee.
- This subdivision shall not apply to: (1) an employer, or agent thereof, that is required by state or federal law or regulations or by a self-regulatory organization as defined in section 3(a)(26) of the securities exchange act of 1934, as amended to use an individual’s consumer credit history for employment purposes, (2) persons applying for positions as or employed: (A) as police officers or peace officers, as those terms are defined in subdivisions thirty-three and thirty-four of section 1.20 of the criminal procedure law, respectively, or in a position with a law enforcement or investigative function at the department of investigation, (B) in a position that is subject to background investigation by the department of investigation, provided, however, that the appointing agency may not use consumer credit history information for employment purposes unless the position is an appointed position in which a high degree of public trust, as defined by the commission in rules, has been reposed, (C) in a position in which an employee is required to be bonded under City, state, or federal law, (D) in a position in which an employee is required to possess security clearance under federal law or the law of any state, (E) in a non-clerical position having regular access to trade secrets, intelligence information or national security information, (F) in a position: (i) having signatory authority over third party funds or assets valued at $10,000 or more, or (ii) that involves a fiduciary responsibility to the employer with the authority to enter financial agreements valued at $10,000 or more on behalf of the employer, (G) in a position with regular duties that allow the employee to modify digital security systems established to prevent the unauthorized use of employer’s or client’s networks or databases.
- Except as otherwise provided in this paragraph, it shall be unlawful discriminatory practice for an agency to request or use for licensing or permitting purposes information contained in the consumer credit history of an applicant, licensee or permittee for licensing or permitting purposes
- The subparagraph (1) of this paragraph shall not apply to an agency required by state or federal law or regulations to use an individual’s consumer credit history for licensing or permitting purposes
We will keep a close eye on this legislation and will be posting updates. If you have any questions please feel free to contact a CARCO
Specialist at 866-557-5984.
Fred Giles, CARCO’s SVP, Research Division, discusses how to avoid the privacy pitfalls of background checks on the Privacy Piracy Radio Show!
Click here to listen
On April 7th, plaintiffs filed a putative class action lawsuit against Amazon.com, Inc., alleging violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) over the company’s background check procedures. According to the complaint, the plaintiff was denied a position at Amazon after the company obtained a criminal background check on him and failed to provide him with the results of the background check. The plaintiff alleges that the background check, in fact, contained a felony conviction for cocaine possession “which did not belong to Plaintiff.” The alleged failure to provide a copy of the background check violates the FCRA, according to the complaint. The plaintiff seeks to represent a nationwide class of individuals who had sought employment at Amazon within the past five years and did not receive a copy of their background check as required by the FCRA.
Is your hiring process compliant? It’s time to contact CARCO Group to be sure!
Gregory Williams v. Amazon.com, Inc. et al., No.2:15-cv-00542
On April 3rd, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe signed an Executive Order affecting state hiring practices by removing questions regarding criminal history from employment applications. Specifically, the Order requires the state’s Department of Human Resources Management to, among other things:
- Amend the state employment application to “ban the box”, removing those questions relating to convictions and criminal history;
- Inform all hiring authorities within the executive branch that state employment decisions will not be based on the criminal history of an individual unless demonstrably job-related and consistent with business necessity, or state or federal law prohibits hiring an individual with certain convictions for a particular position; and
- Provide guidance to ensure that any criminal history background check is only conducted after a candidate has (a) signed the appropriate waiver authorizing release, (b) been found otherwise eligible for the position, and (c) is being considered for a specific position.
The Order states that it applies to all agencies, boards and commissions within the executive branch, and “also encourages similar hiring practices among private employers operating within the Commonwealth and state government contractors.”
We understand that preserving the world’s natural resources is the responsibility of every individual both at work and at home. Here’s some information on our GO GREEN initiatives:
*CARCO’s headquarters building is LEED silver certified
*CARCO’s 100% virtualized data-centers save 2,976,000 kW-h of electricity per year compared to a conventional implementation – that is equivalent to 3,107,000 lbs. of CO2 per year using Long Island’s power generation profile!
*CARCO’s storage of 30,771 documents per day equate to 87,298 electronic pages per day, or 23,133,838 pages per year.
*A tree can make 8,000 pieces of 8.5 x 11 20 lbs. paper. CARCO is saving 10.91 trees per day or 3,983 trees per year!
*A tree sequesters 50 lbs. of CO2 per year. This means CARCO is saving 199,147 lbs. of CO2 per year!
*CARCO’s datacenters use 187,985 kW-h per year, which is equivalent to 196,230 lbs. of CO2.!
*CARCO saves more CO2 than we generate, so we are better than carbon neutral!
SHRM Releases New Hiring Report: Hiring rates should reach a four-year high for April. The LINE Report examines four key areas: employers’ hiring expectations, new-hire compensation, difficulty in recruiting top-level talent and job vacancies. It is based on a monthly survey of private-sector human resource professionals at more than 500 manufacturing and 500 service-sector companies. Together, these two sectors employ more than 90 percent of the nation’s private-sector workers.
To view report, click here: