Second Chance Laws versus Expungement Laws—Not Necessarily the Same

One of the controversial trends in state legislative initiatives is permitting people convicted of crimes to have their criminal records expunged. Having a conviction record expunged means, essentially, it no longer exists. Expungement laws are often referred to as Second Chance Laws, but not all Second Chance laws allow expungement. Consider, for example, the difference…

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Midwest Court Rules Intentional Segregation by Race Is Not Necessarily Discrimination

Is it discriminatory to transfer a minority employee to a different store where the customer base matches his race? Not necessarily, according to The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, which covers Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin. In EEOC v. AutoZone, Inc., the court recently ruled that defendant AutoZone did not violate the anti-segregation…

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Indiana Case Shows Non-Compete Agreements Aren’t Always Straightforward

A recent court case shows why both employers and employees need to be very careful in their handling of employment policies and practices, as well as any decisions they make based on state or local laws. Daniel Scales, an employee working for hydrovac excavation company Badger Daylighting Corp., had a rude awakening after he quit…

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Should You Hire Employee Referrals?

Employee referrals are potentially a great recruiting tool, and the conventional wisdom is that it’s unlikely for an employee to recommend someone they wouldn’t want to work with, themselves, or who wouldn’t be a solid hire. However, employee referrals also come with risks. For instance, a current employee may not know enough about the potential…

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The Cost of Making a Bad Hiring Decision

One of the most common arguments we hear against background and reference checking is that it is “too expensive.” This is a fallacy—and a dangerous attitude. HR Management magazine published an article, “The ROI of Background Screening,” which calculated all the various ways that lax screening and checking techniques can cost firms money—from employee turnover…

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Workplace Safety and Background Checking

A recent lawsuit illustrates how background checks can give employers the necessary information to avoid hiring careless or dangerous people who cause property damage or injury to others. As widely reported in the media, Cedar Rapids Steel Transport (CRST) is potentially facing $350M in punitive damages stemming from a lawsuit for a 2014 head-on crash…

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Criminal Records Laws May be Strengthened at National Level

As reported by the National Employment Law Project, Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) have introduced legislation to help prevent discrimination against workers with criminal records. The two companion acts—the Fair Chance Act (S.842/H.R.1905) and the REDEEM Act (S.827/H.R.1906)—between them cover a number of issues “fair chance” advocates claim hamper hiring rates…

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Positive Workplace Drug Tests Reach 12-Year High – What Employers Should Do

U.S. employees are failing drug tests at a rate higher than any time since 2004, according to the latest yearly Drug Testing Index from Quest Diagnostics, a diagnostic information services firm. The findings, which were released in late May at the annual Drug and Alcohol Testing Industry Association (DATIA)  conference in Orlando, Florida, were derived…

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