FTC, EEOC offer FCRA 411

By: Lesley Fair

When someone mentions the FTC, the EEOC, and the FCRA in the same sentence, it may sound like a ladle of alphabet soup.  What’s really being served up is a new joint publication by the Federal Trade Commission and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that talks about how the Fair Credit Reporting Act and the mandate to comply with anti-discrimination laws intersect when employers use background checks in personnel decisions.

The new brochure, Background Checks: What Employers Need to Know, offers nuts-and-bolts guidance from the two agencies when employers consider the background of applicants and employees in hiring, retention, promotion, and reassignment.  From the FTC’s perspective, if you run background checks through a company in the business of compiling background info, compliance with the FCRA is key.  And as the EEOC reminds employers, any time you use an applicant’s or employee’s background information to make an employment decision — regardless of how you got that information — you must comply with federal laws that protect people from discrimination.

Background Checks: What Employers Need to Know is a to-the-point read with links to free resources to streamline your compliance efforts.  Read it online or print the .pdf for your HR staff and others involved in personnel decisions.  While you’re there, bookmark the FTC’s Credit Reporting page and special portal for Human Resources professionals.

The FTC and EEOC also have teamed up to issue a new brochure, Background Checks: What Job Applicants and Employees Should Know, for people on the other side of the desk.

Global Information Network, LLC  articles are provided for informational purposes only. They are not intended to be comprehensive, and are not a substitute for and should not be construed as legal advice. Global Information Network, LLC  does not warrant any statements in the articles. Any statutes or laws cited herein should be read in their entirety. You should direct to your own experienced legal counsel questions involving your organization’s compliance with or interpretation or application of laws or regulations and any additional legal requirements that may apply.

Information for Employers on Amendment to Minnesota Statute 364

Minnesota Expands “Ban the Box” to Private Employers In May, Governor Mark Dayton signed a criminal background check bill offering job candidates with an arrest or conviction more opportunities to be evaluated on their skills and experience when applying for positions with private employers starting January, 2014. The new law requires private employers to wait until a job applicant has been selected for an interview or a conditional offer of employment has been extended before asking the applicant about their criminal record or conducting a criminal background record check. The elimination of the question with a check box asking about criminal background on initial job applications have been commonly referred to as “Ban the Box.” “Ban the Box” has applied to public employers in Minnesota since 2009. Nationally, there are 92 million Americans with either an arrest or conviction on their record. This law offers the vast majority of individuals with a non-violent criminal record a second chance at an opportunity for employment to better their lives. Employers may still exclude applicants if required by law not to consider candidates who have been convicted of a crime, thus, existing laws will continue to protect vulnerable adults and children from people with violent or sexual criminal histories. Additionally, employers may still exclude applicants if a crime is relevant to the position’s job duties. The new law outlines potential penalties for employers found in violation of the law. If the Human Rights Commissioner finds that a violation has occurred, the Commissioner may impose penalties.