Three Crucial Laws Governing Background Screening

Two business women talking at a table in the office / laws governing background screening Any seasoned or fairly new human resource professional will tell you their main purpose or duty is to enforce policies and procedures as well as stay compliant with changing laws governing background screening that affect their industry.

There are three major movements that have evolved into laws affecting employers in almost every state:

  • Ban-the-Box and Fair Chance Act Laws
  • Equal Pay Act
  • Salary History Bans

Ban-the-Box and Fair Chance Act Laws

We continue to educate our clients on current employment laws through  a Ban-the-Box infographic that is updated periodically with relevant information for these laws such as current and potentially new jurisdictions implementing some form of Ban-the-Box and Fair Chance Act Laws.  For organizations that operate in multiple states, it is crucial to keep a pulse on these laws affecting their employees.

The current state of Ban-the-Box laws and their main points:

  • 31 states, the District of Columbia, and over 150 cities and counties have adopted a Ban-the-Box or Fair Chance policy
  • Affects both public and private employers
  • Eliminating questions about criminal history from the employment application
  • Removing barriers to employment for applicants that have a previous criminal record
  • Considering the applicant’s qualifications first without the stigma of a conviction or arrest record

EEOC’s release: “Guidance on the Use of Criminal Records”

Employers must ask themselves three questions:

  • How long has it been since the crime occurred?
  • Is the conviction related to the position being sought?
  • What has happened since the conviction occurred?

The main component of the law is to wait until a conditional job offer is made before asking about previous criminal activity. Some jurisdictions allow employers to inquire during the first interview. This law was put in place to delay employers from asking about criminal history until further along in the hiring process.

Equal Pay Act

Equal pay for equal work is the concept of labor rights that individuals in the same workplace should be given equal pay. It is most commonly used in the context of sexual discrimination, in relation to the gender pay gap.

  • States have implemented laws that seek to eliminate pay differentials on the basis of sex
  • No size standard based on employer, meaning that organizations with even one employee are subjected to the law

The gender pay gap exists in almost every congressional district according to the most recent statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Salary History Bans

We continue to educate our clients on Salary History Ban laws through an infographic that is updated periodically with relevant information for these laws such as current and potentially new jurisdictions implementing some form of Salary History Ban laws.  For organizations that operate in multiple states, it is crucial to keep a pulse on these laws affecting their employees.

State and local governments are increasingly adopting laws and regulations that prohibit employers from requesting salary history information from job applicants. States have implemented laws that seek to eliminate pay differentials on the basis of sex.

Currently, 11 states have implemented laws prohibiting employers from asking or verifying previous wages:

  • California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Vermont, and Wisconsin

Currently, nine counties and/or cities have implemented laws prohibiting employers from asking or verifying previous wages:

  • San Francisco (CA), Chicago (IL), Louisville (KY), New Orleans (LA), New York City (NY), Albany County (NY), Westchester County (NY), Philadelphia (PA), and Pittsburgh (PA)

Employers Choice Screening offers a periodically updated infographics  and video explanations of the laws governing background screening mentioned above. Please contact us to learn how you can grab your complimentary guides today.