April 27, 2012

Use of Criminal Records in Employment Decision-making Clarified by EEOC

Posted in Arrest records, Background Checking, Conviction Records, Criminal History, Hiring and Recruiting tagged , , , , , at 8:58 am by Tom Jacobson

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on April 25, 2012 issued a new Enforcement Guidance, titled Consideration of Arrest and Conviction Records in Employment Decisions Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

While Title VII does not expressly prohibit the use of such records when making employment decisions, the use of those records will be unlawful discrimination if it disproportionately impacts classes of individuals who are protected by Title VII. One example of this is a recent case where Pepsi agreed to pay $3.13 million to settle a case challenging its former background checking policy (see Pepsi Popped for 3.1M in Background Check Case).

According to EEOC Chair Jacqueline A. Berrien, “The new guidance clarifies and updates the EEOC’s longstanding policy concerning the use of arrest and conviction records in employment, which will assist job seekers, employees, employers, and many other agency stakeholders.”  To that end, the EEOC reports that the Enforcement Guidance addresses:

  • How an employer’s use of an individual’s criminal history in making employment decisions could violate the prohibition against employment discrimination under Title VII;
  • Federal court decisions analyzing Title VII as applied to criminal record exclusions;
  • The differences between the treatment of arrest records and conviction records;
  • The applicability of disparate treatment and disparate impact analysis under Title VII;
  • Compliance with other federal laws and/or regulations that restrict and/or prohibit the employment of individuals with certain criminal records; and
  • Best practices for employers.

What you need to know:  The use of arrest and conviction records is technically not a violation of Title VII.  However, Title VII will be violated if an employer’s practices disproportionately impact protected classes of individuals, and other laws may restrict or regulate an employer’s use of such records.  Therefore, before arrest and conviction records are used, employers must thoroughly understand the proper way of using them; reviewing the EEOC’s new Enforcement Guidance will be a step in the right direction.

For more information about this article, please contact me at taj@alexandriamnlaw.com.

The comments posted in this blog are for general informational purposes only. They are not to be considered as legal advice, and they do not establish an attorney-client relationship. For legal advice regarding your specific situation, please consult your attorney.

Copyright 2012 Swenson Lervick Syverson Trosvig Jacobson Schultz, PA

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April 20, 2012

Register now for the Ninth Annual West Central MN Employment Law Update!

Posted in Application Process, Harassment, Social Media in the Workplace, Social Networking, Training tagged , , , , at 7:55 am by Tom Jacobson

Registration is now open for the Ninth Annual West Central Minnesota Employment Law Update and Employee Relations Training to be held May 31 at Alexandria Technical and Community College in Alexandria. This year’s topics include:

The seminar will also include the ever-popular panel discussion where the attorney faculty will answer your questions about the morning sessions and other timely topics. HRCI credits are pending approval.

Here’s what some of last year’s participants had to say about our 2011 event:

  • A necessity!
  • Informative!
  • Great Info!
  • Amazing!
  • Excellent!
  • Love it!
  • Real life problems, real life answers!

To register, please complete the Registration Form and submit it to Pat Kalina at the Alexandria Area Economic Development Commission. I hope you can join us on May 31 in Alexandria.

For more information about the seminar, please contact me at taj@alexandriamnlaw.com.

Copyright 2012 Swenson Lervick Syverson Trosvig Jacobson Schultz, PA

April 18, 2012

NLRB’s Posting Requirement Blocked by Federal Court

Posted in National Labor Relations Act, Posting & Notice Requirements, Posting Requirements, Posting Requrements tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 9:23 am by Tom Jacobson

The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia issued on April 17, 2012 an injunction which temporarily blocks the posting requirement the National Labor Relations Board has been attempting to impose.  The order was issued in the National Association of Manufacturers lawsuit I noted in my previous article, NLRB’s Posting Requirement Upheld – but Weakened – by Federal Judge.  For more information about the appellate court’s injunction, see NLRB Union Poster Rule Delayed While Challenge Proceeds and Appeals court blocks National Labor Relations Board from requiring union posters at work sites.

For more information about the roller coaster history of this proposed rule, see my previous articles (A Post about Posters – New Workplace Posting Requirement Imposed by NLRBNLRB’s Posting Requirement Delayed, and NLRB’s Posting Requirement Delayed Again).

What you need to know: The NLRB’s rule would have required nearly all private-sector employers to post by April 30, 2012 a notice informing employees of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act.   However, because of this temporary injunction, those employers will not be required to post the notice, but this could change as the issue winds its way through the federal court system. Stay tuned.

For more information about this issue, please contact me at taj@alexandriamnlaw.com.

The comments posted in this blog are for general informational purposes only. They are not to be considered as legal advice, and they do not establish an attorney-client relationship. For legal advice regarding your specific situation, please consult your attorney.

Copyright 2012 Swenson Lervick Syverson Trosvig Jacobson Schultz, PA

April 3, 2012

HR Law Power Lunch Offered by AAEDC

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:33 am by Tom Jacobson

The Top 10 Things every small business should know about HR law will be my topic for discussion at the Alexandria Area Economic Development Commission’s Small Business Power Lunch Series on April 10, 2012.  The event will be held from 11:45 am to 1:00 pm in Alexandria Technical and Community College, Room 209.  Cost:  Only $15 per person (includes lunch!).  For registration information, contact the AAEDC.

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