Overview: Today's hands-off approach can be tomorrow's negligent hiring lawsuit. As a result, many employers turn to a variety of preemployment screening measures to find out ahead of time about any warning signs involving job applicants.
These measures can include employee background checks, reference checks, credit checks, drug tests, job-related aptitude tests and post-offer medical examinations. However, HR professionals should be certain to check their state employment laws as well as federal statutes to ensure that their testing efforts do not overstep.
If an employer decides to engage in any of these testing measures, it must do so across-the-board with all applicants in a consistent fashion. A failure to do so could lead to later discrimination claims.
Trends: Some states prevent employers from asking job applicants about arrests. Others have "Ban the Box" laws that prohibit employers from asking candidates to check off on an initial job application form if they have been convicted of a crime. This does not preclude such questions later in the selection process.
Employers also should be aware that several states limit the use of credit checks to certain positions where financial data, sensitive information or managerial responsibilities will be involved.
Author: David B. Weisenfeld, JD, Legal Editor
Employers should be aware of state laws regarding marijuana for medicinal purposes. This quick reference chart lists the states with medical marijuana laws and the years those laws were passed.
The introduction of federal "Ban the Box" legislation follows that of a host of big cities and some states which already have enacted laws prohibiting employers from asking applicants if they have been convicted of a felony on initial application forms.
Georgia has become the 24th state to legalize medical marijuana in small amounts. On April 16, Governor Nathan Deal signed legislation that immediately permits the use of the drug to treat eight serious health conditions. However, the new law does not protect medical marijuana users from employment discrimination.
Georgia and Virginia have become the first two southern states to enact "ban the box" laws to remove criminal history questions from state job applications. Several XpertHR sections have been updated to reflect these developments.
In-depth review of the spectrum of Virginia employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to preemployment screening and testing.
In-depth review of the spectrum of North Dakota employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to disability leave and requests for accommodations.
Ensuring that employers are hiring an authorized workforce can be challenging. This section guides HR professionals through the verification process when completing the Form I-9 and if the employer participates in E-Verify as well as visa considerations when hiring a foreign national.
Virginia has become the 15th state to enact a "ban the box" law with Governor Terry McAuliffe signing an executive order on April 3. Ban the box refers to eliminating the box on job applications that prospective employees are often asked to check off if they have ever been convicted of a crime.
In-depth review of the spectrum of Oklahoma employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to interviewing and selecting job candidates.
California employers seeking to provide notice to new hires and existing employees that they conduct background checks and do so in a manner that is compliant with applicable federal, state and local laws should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook .
HR Guidance concerning federal and state legal requirements on the screening and testing of job applicants.