List of jurisdictions is growing
“Ban-the-box” measures, which generally prohibit employers from inquiring about a candidate’s criminal history (including performing background checks) until later in the hiring process, and impose significant compliance requirements, will soon be the norm rather than an exception. The list of localities that have enacted such legislation is growing fast and now includes Austin, Baltimore, Buffalo, Chicago, Columbia – MO, Los Angeles (enforcement started July 1, 2017), Montgomery County – MD, New York City, Philadelphia, Portland, Prince George’s County – MD, Rochester, San Francisco, and Seattle, and ten states (Connecticut, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Vermont (effective July 1, 2017)).
Although not labeled as “ban-the-box,” California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing regulations (the “Regs”) that went into effect July 1, 2017 impose certain similar requirements when employers consider criminal history information in employment decisions. As reported in our previous blog, the Regs are substantially based on the enforcement guidance issued by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in April 2012, and prohibit employers from using a candidate’s criminal history in personnel decisions if such information will have an adverse impact on individuals that are in a legally protected class.
Amended rules for New York City’s “ban-the-box” take effect August 5, 2017
Nearly two years after the enactment of New York City’s Fair Chance Act (FCA), and without much fanfare, the City’s Commission on Human Rights published its amended rules that establish certain definitions and procedures, and clarify the comprehensive requirements of the FCA when using criminal history in employment decisions, and considering applicants for licenses, registrations, and permits.
CREDIT CHECK RESTRICTIONS
Eleven states (California – AB 22; Colorado – The Employment Opportunity Act; Connecticut – SB 361; District of Columbia – Fair Credit in Employment Amendment Act, Hawaii – HB 31 SD1; Illinois – HB 4658; Maryland – HB 87; Nevada – SB 127; Oregon – SB 1045; Vermont – Act No. 154 (S. 95); Washington – RCW 19.182 and RCW 19.182.020) and at least two localities (New York City – Stop Credit Discrimination in Employment Act, and Philadelphia – Bill No. 160072), have enacted laws that generally prohibit private employers from checking a candidate’s credit history, except in circumstances where a credit screen is justified by the position’s responsibilities or is required by law.
WAGE HISTORY INQUIRIES
Pay equity initiatives, which among their provisions include a ban on inquiries about a candidate’s wages, are gaining momentum nationwide. The following jurisdictions have enacted such laws and many more are considering similar measures: Delaware – HS1 (effective December 14, 2017); Massachusetts – Pay Equity Act (effective July 1, 2018); New York City – Intro 1253 (effective October 31, 2017); Oregon HB 2005 (effective December 1, 2019); Philadelphia – Fair Practices Ordinance: Protections Against Unlawful Discrimination (set to go into effect May 23, 2017 but now facing a legal challenge); Puerto Rico – Equal Pay Act (effective March 8, 2017); and San Francisco – Parity in Pay Ordinance (effective July 1, 2018).
Pending before California’s Senate is AB 168 that would prohibit employers from seeking an applicant’s salary history and impose significant penalties for violations. Notably, California already has a pay equity law, AB 1676, and although the law does not ban salary history inquiries, it does prohibit employers from using a candidate’s prior wages as the sole basis to justify a pay disparity.
WORK AUTHORIZATION VERIFICATIONS
Revised Form I-9
The USCIS released a revised version of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification on July 17, 2017. Employers can use this revised version or continue using Form I-9 with a revision date of “11/14/16 N” through September 17, 2017. Beginning September 18, 2017, however, employers must use the new form (with the revision date of “07/17/17 N”).
Reminder to California employers
California’s AB 1065 that went into effect January 1, 2017 makes it unlawful for employers to:
- request additional or different documents than those required under federal law to verify that an individual is not an unauthorized immigrant;
- refuse to accept documents provided by the applicant that reasonably appear to be genuine;
- refuse to honor documents or work authorization based on specific status or term that accompanies the authorization to work; and
- attempt to re-investigate or re-verify a candidate’s authorization to work using an unfair immigration-related practice.