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2020 So Far: What’s Been Happening in Background Screening Compliance?

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A lot has changed in the world since we started 2020. As we round out the first half of the year, we are looking back on changes we have seen in the background screening industry. From new laws to additional interpretations, here are the top compliance areas we have been watching this year.

Ban the Box Continues to Rise but Also Shifts

From coast to coast, states, counties, and cities have continued to adopt ban the box style restrictions this year. And, for the first time, the federal government has enacted similar legislation. Beginning in December 2021, Federal agencies and contractors will face restrictions on asking about criminal history during the hiring process.

We also saw some litigation regarding a ban the box law. Read more about this and some of the other updates we have followed in our industry news:

Federal “Fair Chance Act” Enacted ››

Grand Rapids, MI Enacts “Ban the Box”-Style Restrictions ››

Columbia, SC Amends their Ban the Box Law ››

Litigation Update: Waterloo, Iowa Ban the Box Ordinance ››

Salary History Bans Are the Next Big Thing

Following in the footsteps of ban the box legislation, salary history ban-style laws have started popping up across the United States. While the content and restrictions imposed by salary history bans differ between each state, county, or city that imposes them, these laws often restrict an employer’s ability to consider or ask about an employee or applicant’s previous salary history for employment purposes. Some proponents of salary history bans hope the laws will lead to greater pay equality. A new study has already found that women and African American candidates are benefiting with an average pay increase of five percent when switching jobs in areas with this type of law.

Read about some of the 2020 salary history ban related activity in our industry news:

Salary History Ban Coming to Cincinnati ››

Appeals Court Upholds Philadelphia Salary History Ban ››

Litigation Leads to FCRA Insights

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) has always left unanswered questions for employers, but recent court decisions could provide insight into some potential confusion areas. In the last year, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals weighed in on FCRA disclosures, issuing decisions that could provide employers with additional interpretations of what may or may not be allowed in FCRA disclosures.

Permissible purpose has also been highlighted this year, including a settled Federal Trade Commission complaint alleging impermissible use of consumer reports that resulted in a hefty fine. Read more about these cases and more related to the FCRA in our industry news:

Thinking About Adverse Action? Make a Plan! ››

FTC Takes Action Against Using Consumer Reports for an Impermissible Purpose ››

The Ninth Circuit Takes on Background Report Disclosures (Again)… and Pre-Adverse Action Requirements Too ››

The Ninth Circuit, Once Again, Addresses FCRA Disclosure and Authorization Requirements ››

While these aren’t the only topics we have been talking about this year, they have certainly been big news in background screening compliance. Stay up-to-date on these and more with our industry news updates.

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