Overview

Bill Simmons has represented employers in a wide variety of labor and employment matters, ranging from nationwide class and collective actions to individual lawsuits. A large portion of Bill’s practice now concerns talent acquisition and compliance with the array of laws governing hiring.

This includes:

  • The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and state fair credit reporting acts
  • State and local “ban the box” laws
  • State and local “salary history ban” laws
  • Reviewing and revising 50-state employment applications and offer letters for compliance with equal employment opportunity and other state and local laws

Bill has served as lead or co-lead counsel in a variety of putative class action cases against employers for alleged violation of the FCRA’s disclosure, authorization and pre-adverse action requirements. He has also defended employers against class action claims alleging disparate impact in background checks, individual claims under state laws such as the Pennsylvania Criminal History Record Information Act, and discrimination charges related to background checks. Bill frequently trains in-house legal departments and human resources departments on background check processes and substantive decision-making. He enjoys partnering with employers to completely revamp their approaches to background screening when necessary. 

Bill leverages a “360 degree” view of advice, compliance and litigation in the background check and hiring space, as he also directly advises staffing agencies and background check vendors (consumer reporting agencies) and defends them in individual and class action litigation alleging claims such as inaccuracy in reporting, failure to properly handle disputes or file disclosure requests, allegedly deficient notices and procedures, and alleged joint responsibility for employer obligations. Bill has conducted in-depth audits for many small and large consumer reporting agencies, leading to streamlined operational workflows and increased compliance.

Bill is a regular speaker for employers, staffing agencies and consumer reporting agencies addressing talent acquisition and background checks and is an active member of the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS)’s Government Relations Committee.

Professional & Community Affiliations

Member

Labor & Employment Section

American Bar Association

Member

Litigation Section

American Bar Association

Pupil

Sidney Reitman Labor and Employment American Inn of Court

Recognition

Winner, Nathan Baker Mock Trial Competition

2005 and 2006

Recipient, Myron Harkavy Prize

Named, Marquis Scholar

Named, Jack Kent Cooke Graduate Scholar

Named, Saul Tischler Memorial Scholar

Rutgers University School of Law

Order of the Coif

News, Analysis & Press

Background Check Alphabet Soup Creates Nightmares

The Legal Intelligencer

November 17, 2017

Beware Spokeo?

National Association of Professional Background Screeners Journal

May 1, 2017

Pennsylvania May Lead Way in 'Clean Slate' Legislation

The Philadelphia Inquirer

March 22, 2016

In Philadelphia, Sweeping Change on Background Checks

Bloomberg BNA Human Resources Report

December 28, 2015

FCRA Compliance Moves up the To-Do List

Today’s General Counsel

December 31, 2014

US patchwork of social media laws creates confusion

Privacy Laws & Business International Report

October 1, 2013

FLSA Class Nixed In ManorCare Meal Break Suit

Law360.com

February 1, 2013

She Complained, But I’ll Sue: Third-Party Employment Retaliation Claims After Thompson

New Jersey Law Journal

April 18, 2011

Supreme Court Case Demonstrates Importance of Electronic Media Policies & Training

National Human Resources Association Online Newsletter

Fall 2010

Must Affirmative Defenses In Employment Litigation Be Plausible After Iqbal?

Employment & Labor Relations Law Newsletter

Litigation Section - American Bar Association

Summer 2010

Where Is My Nest Egg? Three Considerations for 401(k) Plan Sponsors Selecting Funds in an Unpredictable Economy

Journal of Retirement Planning

March–April 2010

Beyond 50 Employees and 33 Percent: Advanced WARN Issues

Employment & Labor Relations Law Newsletter

Litigation Section - American Bar Association

Summer 2009

Facing the Factors: Handling ERISA Benefits Cases After Glenn

Vol. 194, New Jersey Law Journal 379

October 30, 2008

Remedies for Undocumented Workers

Vol. 190, New Jersey Law Journal, 914

December 3, 2007

Five Years Later: Navigating the Legal Battlefield of IRCA and Undocumented Workers' Remedies After Hoffman

American Immigration (Online)

April 2007

Speaking Engagements

FCRA Basics: Spotting Common Traps for CRAs

NAPBS Annual Conference

September 10, 2019

How to Ride the Next Wave of Background Check Class Actions? Get Up to Speed Now on Gnarly State and Local Requirements

2019 Executive Employer Conference, Phoenix, AZ

May 9, 2019

Employers and CRAs as Partners: 5 Tips for Enhancing Compliance and Applicant Experience

NAPBS Mid-Year Legislative and Regulatory Conference, Arlington, VA

March 25, 2019

Local Law Headaches: Philadelphia and Beyond

Philadelphia, PA

March 14, 2019

Human Resource Law from Start to Finish

NBI Seminar, Philadelphia, PA

March 13, 2019

Background Checks

Littler Executive Employer, Phoenix, AZ

May 4, 2018

Hiring Traps for Even the Wary: How Fair Chance Acts, Salary History Bans and Consumer Reporting Laws Continue to Catch Employers Off Guard

Littler Executive Employer, Phoenix, AZ

May 3, 2018

Local Ordinances Impacting the Employment Relationship

Pennsylvania Bar Institute, Employment Law Institute 2018

April 26, 2018

Investigative Consumer Reports: Litigation Trends and the Salary History Ban Movement

National Association of Professional Background Screeners Mid-Year Legislative & Regulatory Conference

April 16, 2018

What Staffing Companies Want (And Don’t Realize They Need Yet) In Screening

National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) Annual Conference

September 19, 2017

The Million Dollar Sentence and Other Recent Trends in Employment Background Check Litigation

Philadelphia Bar Association

August 25, 2017

Confidentiality Issue Spotting: A Panel Discussion

City of Philadelphia Law Department CLE

July 27, 2017

Digging into Background Checks: Advanced Issues and Complex Relationships

May 30, 2017

Digging into Background Checks: Advanced Issues and Complex Relationships

The 2017 Executive Employer® Conference

May 11, 2017

Addressing Complex Employment Relationships in Background Checks

National Association of Professional Background Screeners, Washington, D.C.

March 21, 2017

What Keeps Clients Up at Night?

Littler Philadelphia Employer Conference, Philadelphia, PA

March 7, 2017

Beyond "Ban the Box" – Building Effective Background Screening Programs

Philadelphia, PA

March 17, 2016

Red Flag Employment Issue-Spotting for Busy Businesses

Philadelphia, PA

February 18, 2016

Beyond "Ban the Box" - Building Effective Background Screening Programs

Philadelphia, PA

February 11, 2016

Classifying Workers Properly: Maximize Profits, Minimize Risk

Philadelphia, PA

October 29, 2015

Compliance Strategies for Multi-Jurisdictional Employers

Philadelphia, PA

March 26, 2015

Avoiding FCRA Night Terrors

February 26, 2015

Criminal Records and Background Checks: What Every Employer Needs to Know

Philadelphia, PA

September 14, 2011

Education

  • J.D., Rutgers School of Law, 2007With Highest Honors
  • A.B., Lafayette College, 2004summa cum laude

Bar Admission

Pennsylvania
New Jersey

Courts

  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania
  • U.S. District Court, Middle District of Pennsylvania
  • U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey