Each year, LP’s Labor & Employment Practice Group is pleased to provide a short checklist of steps that all companies should consider taking to measure their readiness for the coming year. We hope that you find this 2015 Labor and Employment Law Checklist a helpful guide to best practices for the year ahead.
Webinar- Back to School: Employment Law Update
As fall approaches and students head back to school, The Employment Lawyers are taking a look back and a look ahead at issues in labor and employment law. Join us for an informational webinar to review developments over the past year and discuss tips to keep your workplace practices current in the coming year.
Tuesday, September 9, 2014
12:00 pm – 1:30 pm (CDT)
CLICK HERE TO REGISTER
• Supreme Court developments, including the important decisions in Noel Canning and Hobby Lobby
• The EEOC’s new challenges to release agreements and steps you should take to ensure enforceability
• What Illinois and New Jersey employers need to know about new laws limiting questions about an applicant’s criminal record
• Developments under the Americans with Disabilities Act, including working at a home as a reasonable accommodation
• New guidance on how far employers need to go in accommodating religious beliefs and practices
• The Supreme Court and IRS weigh in on taxability of severance payments and health insurance reimbursements
• What to expect from the DOL’s fresh look at overtime requirements
• Continued rollout of the Affordable Care Act in the coming year
• Key changes to requirements for federal contractors
CLE Credit Available | This program has been submitted to the HR Certification Institute for review.
Contact Annie Darmofal at 312.476.7626 or email@example.com
Illinois Joins Push to “Ban the Box”
Effective January 1, 2015, most Illinois employment agencies and private employers will be prohibited from asking about applicants’ criminal background until the applicant reaches the interview stage of the hiring process, or, if there is no interview, until the applicant has been given a conditional offer of employment. The Job Opportunities for Qualified Applicants Act (House Bill 5701) provides very limited exceptions. For most Illinois employers, the Act will require changes to the application process.
The Illinois Job Opportunities for Qualified Applicants Act is the latest in a surge of “Ban the Box” legislation around the country. Illinois becomes the 5th state to enact such “Ban the Box” legislation that covers private employers, joining Hawaii, Massachusetts, Minnesota and Rhode Island. Seven cities (Baltimore, Buffalo, Newark, Philadelphia, Rochester, Seattle, San Francisco) also have similar provisions.
Illinois employers and employment agencies should review application materials to remove questions about criminal history by the end of the year.
EEOC and FTC Offer Joint Tips on Use of Employment Background Checks
On Monday, the Federal Trade Commission and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued joint publications offering informal guidance on conducting background checks that comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act and anti-discrimination laws. The overlapping rules and jurisdiction of these two agencies in this area of the law can sometimes be confusing for employers.
The first brochure, Background Checks: What Employers Need to Know, offers nuts-and-bolts guidance for employers to consider when investigating the backgrounds of applicants and employees for use in hiring, retention, promotion, and reassignment decisions. The publication also reminds employers to review local laws regarding background reports and information because some states and municipalities regulate the use of that information for employment purposes in addition to what federal law requires. The brochure also has many helpful links to other EEOC and FTC guidance in this area.
The second brochure, Background Checks: What Job Applicants and Employees Should Know is geared toward job applicants and employees.
The EEOC press release describes the joint guidance as “a unique opportunity for the agencies to work together to provide user-friendly technical assistance to our stakeholders.” Given that the EEOC has not been particularly successful in the cases it has brought against companies for allegedly using background checks improperly, it is likely that the agency also has decided that getting employers to voluntarily alter their practices by providing additional guidance to them may be a better enforcement strategy.