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Background Screening News & Legal Updates

At OPENonline, we notify you of the most recent background screening and investigative news with our timely news alerts, press releases, blog articles and legislative & compliance updates. If you are interested in submitting an article to appear on our website, please contact our marketing department.

July 25, 2014

All Montana School Bus Drivers Required to Pass Background CheckThe state of Montana now requires all school bus drivers to undergo and pass a background check before they can transport students to school. This comes after an audit found numerous current bus drivers had criminal backgrounds.

The Board of Public Education made the requirement after a 2011-2012 audit found 64 of the 1,500 bus drivers in Montana had criminal records including drunk driving.

July 23, 2014

On July 19, 2014, Illinois became the fifth state to ban the question “Have you ever been convicted of a crime?” from initial job applications.

As expected, on July 19, 2014, Illinois became the fifth state to ban the question “Have you ever been convicted of a crime?” from initial job applications. Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed the Job Opportunities for Qualified Applicants Act which bans employers in both the private and public sector from inquiring about an applicant’s criminal history until an interview or conditional offer is made. The law takes effect starting January 1, 2015.

July 15, 2014

Home Depot Faces Background Check LawsuitHome Depot faces a potential class action lawsuit brought on by applicant, Trent Henderson, who claims the company ran a background check without his knowledge and failed to provide him a copy of the report before taking adverse action.

The lead plaintiff alleges Home Depot denied him employment based off of information taken from a consumer report, but did not notify him of the report or provide a copy of it. The lawsuit claims this violates the Federal Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

July 11, 2014

Portland City Job Applications Will No Longer Have Criminal History Section

The city of Portland already removed the box on job applications asking applicant to identify if they are a convicted criminal or have been incarcerated -- and now they’ve taken it one step further by also removing language saying the city may require a criminal records check. The new policy is part of the Ban the Box movement that states a prospective employee’s criminal record should not be known or considered until later in the hiring process.

July 10, 2014

Aaron’s Inc. Faces Lawsuit for FCRA Background Check ViolationsAaron’s, Inc., a Georgia corporation, is facing a class action lawsuit for allegedly violating the Federal Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) in regards to background checks. Daniel Antoine, the plaintiff in the case, claims the company failed to provide him with a copy of his FCRA rights and a copy of the consumer report before taking adverse action. Under FCRA rules, employers are required to provide applicants a copy of their FCRA rights and a copy of the background check before taking adverse action using information discovered in the background check.

July 2, 2014

OPENonline Will Be Closed Thursday, July 4thIn observance of the Independence Day holiday, OPENonline will be closed Friday, July 4, 2014. We will return to normal operation on Monday, July 7, 2014 at 8 a.m. EST. Many government agencies will also be closed for the national holiday. Minor delays may occur for some search results.Please do not hesitate to contact us at 800.366.0106 should you have any questions regarding our upcoming holiday hours or your account. We appreciate your continued business and hope you have a safe and enjoyable holiday!

July 1, 2014

Tennessee Passes Online Privacy Act for Employees and Job ApplicantsState officials passed the Tennessee’s Employee Online Privacy Act on January 1, 2014 giving employees and job applicants protection from employers requiring them to disclose personal Internet accounts. The law takes effect on January 1, 2015. The act states an employer shall not:(1) Request or require an employee or an applicant to disclose a password that allows access to the employee’s or applicant’s personal Internet account; (2) Compel an employee or applicants to add the employer to a list of contacts for personal Internet accounts; (3) Compel an employee or applicant to show their contents of a personal Internet account; and (4) Take adverse action, fail to hire, or otherwise penalize an employee or applicant because of a failure to disclose information based off a personal Internet Account.

June 27, 2014

Investigation Finds Dallas County Temporary Workers With Criminal Records

Dallas County officials are now doing an overhaul on their hiring procedures after The Dallas Morning News conducted an investigation and found numerous temporary workers with criminal histories. Some of the temp workers had been working with the county for years without anyone knowing about their criminal background.

The county has used several different temp agencies in the past. The investigation found that some contractor provided temps only had a name in the records to identify the workers. There were many other errors in the records used by the county auditors including misspelled names and incomplete data leading to officials not knowing how long the temps had worked for the county.

June 27, 2014

California Employers Must Have Ban the Box Policy by July 1A new state law requires that by July 1, 2014, the State of California, as well as every city, county and special district in the state, have a Ban the Box policy in place so that questions about conviction history do not appear on the government’s initial job applications. Any inquiries into conviction history must take place later in the hiring process. The new statute—section 432.9 in the Labor Code—ensures that job applicants are considered on their qualifications first.

June 25, 2014

San Francisco’s Ban the Box Restrictions Effective July 1, 2014

Beginning on August 13, 2014, San Francisco employers with 20 or more workers must abide by the Fair Chance Ordinance, a new law barring most employers from asking prospective workers about their criminal history on job applications. The Ban the Box legislation expands the city’s existing law to include most private employers, publicly funded housing providers and city contractors. The statewide Ban the Box policy becomes effective a few weeks earlier on July 1, 2014. AB 218 bars public sector employers from asking about criminal records on employment applications. The legislation stipulates law enforcement positions are exempted from the requirements, as are other positions that require a criminal background check by law.

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