Background Check

Mayors, Police Chiefs Send Letter to Senate Leaders Urging Background Check Legislation

by U.S. Conference of Mayors - PRNewswire

Today, on behalf of the nation's mayors and the police chiefs of major cities across America, the Presidents of the U.S. Conference of Mayors and Major Cities Chiefs Association sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) calling on them to consider needed legislation that would establish a stronger system of background checks covering all firearms purchases.

"Our communities cannot afford to wait any longer for the federal government to address the epidemic of gun violence. We know that bipartisan, sensible gun safety legislation will make our cities safer without compromising gun owners' rights. That is why we are calling upon Majority Leader McConnell and Minority Leader Schumer to consider legislation that would ensure all firearms purchases go through our background check system," said U.S. Conference of Mayors President Bryan Barnett, Mayor of Rochester Hills (MI).

Read more: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/mayors-police-chiefs-send-letter-to-senate-leaders-urging-background-check-legislation-300946295.html

It's Not Just California Anymore: State and Local Laws Challenge the Multijurisdictional Employer

by Rachel Powitzky Steely - The National Law Review

Did you know that employers can be sued in Michigan for height discrimination?  Or that in Maine, starting in 2021, employees can take paid time off for any reason at all?  States and cities have followed California’s lead in requiring tighter restrictions on employers and providing more rights to employees.  Is your company complying with these swiftly changing state and local restrictions?

Historically, employers viewed California as the only place with significantly more restrictive employment laws outside the federal norms. However, more and more cities and states are setting higher standards for employers and requiring strict compliance. Employers must therefore keep up with the rapidly changing regulation landscape on the state and local level.

For example, many states and cities have passed various versions of “ban the box” laws that prohibit an employer from requesting criminal history on an application.  Detroit and New Orleans ban questions at the application stage, not after a conditional offer of employment, but only for contractors doing business with the city. New Mexico allows an employer to consider an applicant’s convictions only after reviewing the application and discussing employment with the applicant (interview).  Washington state requires employers to determine that the applicant is otherwise qualified for a position, but does not require that the employer conditionally offer employment to consider arrests, convictions, or background checks. Most states with ban the box regulations do allow inquiries of criminal history after a conditional offer of employment.

Read more: https://www.natlawreview.com/article/it-s-not-just-california-anymore-state-and-local-laws-challenge-multijurisdictional

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.

Read more: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-aviation-security-airports/u-s-europe-split-over-u-n-efforts-to-expand-airport-employee-screening-sources-idUSKCN1VR25D

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.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesrealestatecouncil/2019/08/27/due-diligence-it-applies-equally-to-properties-and-prospective-tenants/#6583268f6578

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.

https://www.postandcourier.com/free-times/news/local_and_state_news/columbia-won-t-ask-criminal-wage-history-on-initial-job/article_8a99bd08-bcff-11e9-b957-3346d1789023.html

PRC Employment Law: Conducting Background Checks on Employees

by Peter Pang - ipopang.com

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

Read more: https://www.ipopang.com/blog/labor-and-employment-law/prc-employment-law-conducting-background-checks-on-employees/

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.

https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/new-jersey-adds-to-recent-flood-of-81944/