2014 has and will be a year of change. Here is a compiled list of items that could affect a background screen and which areas the changes have and will take place.  If you ever have questions regarding legal changes, please consult your Essential Screens representative or your legal counsel. 

Motor Vehicle state fee changes affect 4/1/14:

Kentucky $5-$5.50
Connecticut $15.00-$18.00
Pennsylvania $5-$8.00

State regulation changes:

California:

Users Key Municipal Employment Restriction – See Municipal Resource Tab Effective August, 2014 (not February 14, 2014) for the city and county of San Francisco: Per ordinance an Employer may not require applicants or potential applicants for employment or employees to disclose, and shall not inquire into, the person’s conviction history or an unresolved arrest until either after the first live interview with the person (via telephone, video-conferencing, use of other technology, or in person) or after a conditional offer of employment. Restrictions are also placed on landlords of Affordable Housing.

Minnesota:

Users Use of criminal record only after conditional offer of employment EFFECTIVE 01/01/2014. If there is no interview then no inquiry until a conditional job offer is made to the applicant. An employer may not ask an applicant or obtain criminal record information by any means until the applicant has the first interview, if the employer uses interviews. If there is no interview then no inquiry until a conditional job offer is made to the applicant.

 

Users Use of criminal record only at/after interview EFFECTIVE 01/01/2014. Inquiry about criminal record is delayed: An employer may not ask an applicant or obtain criminal record information by any means until the applicant has the first interview, if the employer uses interviews. If there is no interview then no inquiry until a conditional job offer is made to the applicant.

New York:

As of April 1, 2014, the Office of Court Administration (OCA) will no longer provide a criminal history for any individual whose only conviction was a single misdemeanor charge more than ten years prior to the date of the search request.  In this scenario- the OCA will return a clear result.  If your applicant provides information that they have a record outside of the newly dictated scope, you will have to request that Essential Screens orders the file from the court that heard the case.

Users Key Municipal Employment Restriction – See Municipal Resource Tab Effective January 1, 2014, the City of Buffalo enacted a Ban-the-Box ordinance for employers within the city. Employer cannot ask an applicant for employment questions regarding their criminal history prior to a first interview. Covered employers include the City of Buffalo, its vendors or any employer located within the Buffalo city limits, and “Employer” is defined as any person, partnership, corporation, labor organization, and not for profit or association having 15 or more employees.

Oregon:

Users Specific reporting required if tenant screening Effective 01-01-2014, specific limitations are placed on the type of information a landlord can consider. Limitations include previous and pending eviction cases and a landlord can only consider certain types of criminal convictions. The OR legislation has not placed this law on their web page as of yet. The link on this site is to the bill – SB 91.

Rhode Island:

Users Use of criminal record only at/after interview Effective 01/01/2014 Rhode Island became a “ban the box” state. This law provides that all employers may inquire about “convictions” at the first job interview or thereafter.

Recommendations:

  • Reevaluate your screening process taking into consideration the EEOC’s Best Practices.
  • Understand the “Green Factors” and how criminal information relates to the position(s) your screening for.
  • Know if your organization is in “ban the box” regulated location(s), and take questions about criminal records off your application (this should be done post interview or conditional job offer in those areas).
  • When in doubt consult your legal counsel.