Press & Media Articles

U.S., Europe split over U.N. efforts to expand airport employee screening

by Allison Lampert - Reuters

The United States and Europe are divided over United Nations efforts to expand employee screening at airports, following broader calls to harden airports against threats from their own workers, four sources familiar with the matter said.

The United States, backed by Canada and Australia, opposes the new global standards, which if approved would have all workers screened when entering airports’ restricted areas, while Europe supports the change, said the sources who were not authorized to discuss the private talks.

Washington argues the proposal could increase passenger congestion and costs, and is not demonstrably more effective than its current practice of random screening, watch list vetting and background checks, two of the sources said.

The previously unreported debate comes weeks before global aviation security experts will meet at the UN’s International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in Montreal.

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Due Diligence: It Applies Equally to Properties and Prospective Tenants

by Alex Hemani - Forbes

You wouldn’t invest in a property without first investigating the premises, comps and details of the deal. So don’t count on the performance of that investment without conducting some due diligence on the people who will be providing the revenue: your future tenants.

Thorough tenant screening is critical to protecting your investment, helping you treat everybody equally and avoiding a potential fair housing inquiry or violation. Large property owners do it, and singe-family rental owners should too, especially since people who know they have a credit or rental history problem will look for properties from independent investors hoping you won’t check to find out the sordid details.

There’s no way to be certain whether a tenant-landlord relationship will work out, but that doesn’t mean you should simply flip a coin or “go with your gut.” People who seem personable and responsible in an interview can turn out to be difficult renters. Giving somebody a break could mean they just became your newest charity case, or reveal a pattern of inconsistent decisions you’ve made that could lead to a fair housing complaint. That’s why you have to perform your due diligence on people you are considering renting to, just like you would on a property you are considering buying. Fail to do so, and you increase your risk and jeopardize your rental revenue stream.

GDPR One Year On: How Have Data Companies Fared?

by Amnon Drori - International Business Times

For some, it was a time of concern and even panic. The European Union's GDPR was coming, and companies were given the clear message: Make sure you follow privacy protection rules, or you could end up like Google – which was about to be fined a record $5 billion for violating EU antitrust regulations. GDPR had teeth, and it was set to bite anyone who pushed it.

In early 2018, firms had copious amounts of data on people stored on long-forgotten servers and databases. Properly known as the General Data Protection Regulation, the rules require that companies that have data on individuals grant them the right to data portability or erasure. Companies are also required to hire a dedicated data officer, and to notify customers almost immediately if there is a breach that leads to a leak of their data. Violators could be fined €20 million ($22 million), or 4 percent annual global turnover – whichever is greater.

The regulations loomed especially large for data companies that relied on machine learning to gather data. They meant that these companies would need to be much more careful about their data collection, whereas many had previously engaged in massive, careless hoarding and sharing of data.

GDPR went into effect on May 25, 2018, so we've had more than a year to judge its impact. There's no doubt that the regulations have already had an impact on both consumers and businesses. In a nine-month summary of the effects of GDPR, the European Data Protection Board said that as of March, there were 206,326 complaints reported, with nearly 100,000 complaints relating to data privacy. GDPR supervisory agencies in 11 countries issued fines, totaling €55,955,871 (over $6.3 million).

Columbia Won't Ask Criminal, Wage History on Initial Job Applications

by Chris Trainor - FreeTimes

The City of Columbia has passed a law that it will not ask for job seekers’ criminal history on initial employment applications, and it will encourage vendors that do business with the city to also eliminate criminal history from their applications.

The new law also stipulates that the city will not ask for a prospective employee’s wage history when considering that person for a job.

Columbia City Council unanimously passed final reading on the new law at an Aug. 6 meeting.

The practice of omitting a criminal history question on an application is commonly known as “banning the box.” According to the National Employment Law Project, 35 states and more than 150 cities and counties have adopted a “ban the box” policy, essentially choosing to eliminate the question of a person’s criminal history from initial job applications. Richland County Council voted to establish such a policy in early June. 

The theory is that, if an employer sees on an application that a person has a criminal background, they could develop an opinion about that person before ever taking a closer look into their qualifications and abilities. Banning the box could help eliminate that initial barrier. The City of Columbia has been practicing “ban the box” in its own internal hiring practices for about three years, per city officials. The new measure formally makes it city law, and takes the extra step of encouraging the entities that do business with the city to follow the same practices.

Employing the Formerly Incarcerated: A Global Perspective

by Jathan Janove, J.D. - SHRM

Much attention has been focused recently on second-chance employment in the United States. But what is happening in other countries regarding employing the formerly incarcerated?

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) "is committed to learn more about how countries around the globe have addressed second-chance employment," SHRM President and Chief Executive Officer Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., SHRM-SCP, said, "so we find responsible ways to bring the formerly incarcerated back to the workplace while ensuring worker and customer safety."

Internationally, second-chance employment depends on a country's background-check laws, data-privacy laws and laws banning discrimination on the basis of conviction history, according to Darren Gardner, an attorney with Seyfarth Shaw in San Francisco.

PRC Employment Law: Conducting Background Checks on Employees

by Peter Pang -

Conducting a background check on a job applicant is a routine activity all over the world, although far too many employers ignore this critical step in the hiring process. The information sought typically includes academic background, employment history, and criminal record. Conducting background checks in China, however, involves special considerations relating to the sourcing of information and compliance with data privacy laws.

  • Researching an Applicant’s Educational Qualifications

  • Researching an Applicant’s Employment Background

  • Obtaining an Applicant’s Criminal Record

  • Legal Restrictions Affecting Background Checks

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New Jersey Adds to Recent Flood of Salary History Ban Laws

by William Simmons - JDSUPRA

Continuing the recent deluge of salary history ban laws,1 on July 25, 2019, New Jersey Lieutenant Governor Sheila Oliver signed Bill A1094 into law.2 Like other recent laws limiting salary history inquiries, New Jersey’s law prohibits employers from screening job applicants based on the applicant’s prior salary history, which includes prior wages, salary or benefits.  In addition, employers may not require that an applicant’s salary history satisfy any minimum or maximum threshold to be considered for a job.  The new law takes effect on January 1, 2020.

The law provides for a private right of action as well as civil penalties from $1,000-$10,000 per violation depending on the circumstances.  The law does not expressly define what conduct will be considered as a single “violation” for purposes of calculating penalties.

NY Legislature Passes Bills To Extend Coverage Of Plain Language Law And Prohibit Use Of Social Network Information For Evaluating Creditworthiness

Two bills relevant to consumer finance have been passed by the New York Assembly and Senate and are awaiting Governor Cuomo’s signature.

House Committee Passes Bill to Ban Employment Credit Checks

The House Committee on Financial Services on July 11 passed legislation that would prohibit employers from using credit reports for employment decisions, except when required by law or for a national security clearance.

Colorado Enacts 'Ban the Box' Legislation to Take Effect in September 2019

In an effort to prevent persons with criminal records from being automatically ruled out for job vacancies, Colorado Governor Jared Polis has signed “ban the box” legislation. The new law will go into effect in September 2019 for employers with at least 11 employees, and employers with fewer than 11 employees have until September 2021 to comply. This makes Colorado the 13th state to enact “ban the box” legislation for private employers.