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Private Sector Employers in the District of Columbia Will Soon Be Required to Comply with a New Law Restricting Their Ability to Rely on Criminal Records for Employment Purposes

On August 22, 2014, the District of Columbia Mayor signed a new law restricting most employers that operate in the District of Columbia in their ability to rely on criminal history information, including criminal background records, for employment purposes. In fact, the new District of Columbia law is one of the few in the United States that restricts the ability of private sector employers to screen applicants on the front end (i.e., before an interview or an offer). The law does this by prohibiting employers from both inquiring about criminal history information during the application...

New Jersey Law Continues Nationwide "Ban-the-Box" Trend

On August 11, 2014, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed “The Opportunity to Compete Act,” which restricts the ability of covered employers to inquire into, and use, criminal records.  New Jersey’s so-called “ban-the-box” law, which will be effective March 1, 2015, follows closely on the heels of similar legislation enacted in the past two years.  Due to the proliferation of such laws – and related class action litigation and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission “systemic” investigations – employers may want to conduct a...

Rhode Island Enacts New Legislation Prohibiting Employers' Access to Personal Online Content

Rhode Island recently became the fifth state in 2014 and the 17th state nationwide to enact legislation restricting access by employers to applicants' and employees' personal online content.1 The Rhode Island law follows similar laws enacted this year by Wisconsin, Tennessee,2 Oklahoma, and Louisiana,3 continuing a nationwide trend that began in spring 2012.  Rhode Island's new law embodies many of the prohibitions seen in similar laws.  However, in comparison to similar laws, the new law provides relatively narrow exceptions that allow employers to protect their...

The Swelling Tide of Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) Class Actions: Practical Risk-Mitigating Measures for Employers

The swelling tide of class action litigation against employers under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is unmistakable. It cuts across all industries, including retailers, restaurant chains, theatre chains, manufacturers, financial institutions and transportation companies. To illustrate how the threat to employers is concrete, not merely hypothetical, close to a dozen nationwide class actions were filed in plaintiff-friendly venues during just June and July 2014. Three suits were filed by one firm on the same day in July. These lawsuits can be frustrating for employers because...

Six Recent NLRB Cases Provide Further Insight on Structuring Employers' Social Media Policies

Employers, struggling to regulate employees’ work-related social media postings, recently suffered a string of defeats in National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) cases challenging their social media and related communications policies.  The six cases, decided in the past two months, which resulted in five losses and only one victory for employers, demonstrate that the NLRB continues to use social media and other common communications policies as a vehicle to aggressively inject itself into the non-union workplace as the number of unionized workers continues to diminish. ...


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Format: 2014-09-02
Format: 2014-09-02