Posted in EEOC, employment
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has released its annual Fiscal Year 2015 Performance and Accountability Report (PAR).
This report discusses activities during the past fiscal year from October 1, 2014 through September 30, 2015 that were designed to meet the priorities outlined in the EEOC Strategic Enforcement Plan (SEP) for Fiscal Years 2012-2016.
Jenny Yang, EEOC Chair, highlighted three key areas of success in her opening message:
- Benefits for Victims of Discrimination. EEOC secured more than $525 million for victims of discrimination in the workplace. This includes:
- $356.6 million in relief for those who work in the private sector—secured through the agency’s mediation, conciliation, and other administrative enforcement efforts.
- $65.3 million in relief for charging parties—obtained through litigation.
- $105.7 million in relief for federal employees and applicants through our federal sector process.
- Challenging Systemic Discrimination. EEOC field offices resolved 268 systemic investigations during the administrative process. In doing so, the agency obtained more than $33.5 million in remedies. In litigation, EEOC resolved 26 systemic cases, six of which included at least 50 victims of discrimination and 13 that included at least 20 victims.
- Extensive Outreach and Public Education Activities. The agency’s outreach programs reached more than 330,000 people through more than 3,700 no-cost educational, training, and outreach events. The EEOC Training Institute educated 12,000 individuals at more than 140 events.
In addition, the EEOC resolved 92,641 discrimination charges while receiving 89,385 new private sector bias charges during fiscal year 2015. Both figures show increases from fiscal year 2014, when the EEOC received 88,778 new charges while resolving 87,442 charges of discrimination.
Yang went on to highlight how the EEOC closed fiscal year 2015 by putting in place three blueprints that will shape the agency’s work for years to come.
- To educate the public about trends and challenges in achieving equal employment opportunity, they outlined a Research and Data Plan that will enable them to use data to enhance our enforcement work.
- They established Quality Enforcement Practices, which set guidelines for improving the timeliness and ensuring the quality of agency investigations and conciliations.
- They instituted an agency-wide Communications and Outreach Plan to enhance the clarity, consistency, and coordination of their vital communications and outreach efforts.
In the year that marked the 50th anniversary of the Commission, the EEOC met or partially met all 8 of their FY 2015 goals.
Event so, the Inspector General’s statement suggests that ” to make continued progress towards the mission, we believe EEOC needs to be successful in meeting these three challenges in 2016: strategic performance management, reduction of the private sector charge inventory, and data security: multi-factor authentication for network and system access.”
Access the full report here.
Posted in background checks, background screening, criminal background checks, employment, fingerprinting
Despite the company publicly denouncing fingerprint background checks due to database inaccuracies and unfairness, Uber has quietly started testing the fingerprinting process on some of its drivers. Uber background checks have been a controversial issue since day one.
Five hundred Los Angeles-based Uber drivers were invited to undergo fingerprint background checks; it has not been determined whether fingerprint screening has been tested in other markets, or whether the fingerprinting program will expand at this time.
Background checking comes up frequently with ride-sharing services such as Uber, as several allegations of assault have surfaced since the company first gained popularity. In fact, the company claimed to have the “safest rides on the road” at one point, despite concerns that, by forgoing fingerprint checks, it was easy for people to apply to be Uber drivers under someone else’s identity.
Last December, Uber released a “Commitment to Safety” post on its website that indicated that the company would be looking into biometric and voice safety options for driver screening. Uber does utilize other kinds of background checks outside fingerprinting; however, the company has found itself the target of some lawsuits — including with the state of California — over misleading background check information that was provided to the public.
Taxi services utilize fingerprint background checks when hiring drivers.
Posted in drug screening, drug testing, drug tests, failing drug tests
A committee headed by the president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has proposed that the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) take over all sports drug testing as an independent agency, in an attempt to bring credibility to drug testing in athletics. It would be a huge undertaking for the WADA, but having an independent organization conduct drug-screening tests could improve fairness when it comes to Olympic drug testing.
WADA does not currently conduct its own drug tests; rather, it works with contracted laboratories to monitor samples. It is not currently expected that this format would change by adding more responsibility to WADA’s plate.
This proposal comes on the heels of allegations that some countries covered up athletes’ use of performance-enhancing drugs during recent years’ Olympics, particularly in the track and field events.
WADA and IOC officials are expected to discuss this proposal further at a meeting on Nov. 17. WADA President and IOC VP Craig Reedie refused to comment or speculate as to the outcome of the proposal, should WADA decide to fully take over drug testing.
WADA is not expected to provide an answer by the November meeting, as the Canadian agency is expected to conduct a study and report on the potential results of independent drug testing for sports federations over an unspecified time period.
The IOC’s proposal would give WADA control over the testing, but disciplinary action for those who use performance-enhancing drugs would remain with the sports federations.
Posted in background checks, bus driver background check, criminal background checks, school background checks
The Kansas Board of Education has been revisiting its background check policies for school bus drivers. Currently, the law states that any school bus driver in the state must not have a felony record within the past decade. The board is considering whether it should require bus drivers to have a completely clean background check, with any felony record at any point in time being cause for disqualification for future employment or termination from current employment.
It appears that parents of children in Kansas schools are divided on whether or not the expansion of the background check regulations makes sense, when it comes to events that happened more than 10 years prior. Some think that if a felony occurred more than a decade prior and the driver has had a clean record since, they should not be penalized; others want to know that their children are not in a vehicle with someone who has had any criminal convictions at any point in time, regardless of how long ago the conviction took place.
Some types of felonies do, of course, prevent individuals from working around or in proximity to children entirely. The proposed language of the legislation states that any “individual [that] has been convicted in any state or federal court of any crime involving a child” would not be able to drive a school bus. The proposal also removes any mention of a 10-year limit.
“Certainly we want to do everything we can to ensure that our kids are safe,” said Kenneth Willard, the 7th district representative for the Board of Education. “And that’s just a bigger issue all the time. We’ve taken some measures over time to really beef up security and background checks for everybody that’s having contact with kids.”
The proposed changes are expected to go to the Kansas Attorney General.
Posted in Department of Labor, DoL, employment
According to a release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, October saw dramatic job gains across many industries, as well as increases in private (non-farm) hourly wages.
The Bureau says the unemployment rate remained “unchanged” from September’s rate of 5.1 percent, but the new report shows that the percentage of unemployed must have just edged under the previous rate, as the Department of Labor is calling the unemployment rate 5.0 percent in the most recent release.
In addition, 271,000 new jobs in October, which is more than the previous per-month job average of 230,000 new jobs per month over the past year.
The most jobs came to the professional and business services industry, with 78,000 new jobs in October. More than half of the jobs (46,000) were in administrative/support services, while computer systems design and architectural & engineering services also saw decent gains (10,000 and 8,000 jobs, respectively).
Healthcare, retail trade, and food and drinking places also added good numbers of jobs. Twenty-seven thousand new jobs in ambulatory health care services created the bulk of healthcare’s 45,000 new positions; clothing and accessory store jobs (20,000) made up just under half of retail trade’s 44,000 jobs.
Mining lost 5,000 jobs in October, and has seen 109,000 lost jobs since last December. Other sectors such as government, financial, transportation and manufacturing saw little or no change in their employment numbers from September.
Finally, October saw hourly earnings increase for private employees. The average hourly rate increased by 9 cents in October, to make the average rate $25.20 per hour.
Posted in background checks, ban the box, criminal background checks, employment background screening, Federal law, government
In a major push to reform federal employment policies that work against convicted felons, President Obama is expected to sign an Executive Order on Monday that would prohibit federal employers from asking job applicants questions about potential criminal records until significantly later in the hiring process.
In a previous post, we shared that both the House of Representatives and the Senate are also currently debating bills that propose ban-the-box measures.
These measures — whether accomplished via executive action or through other branches of government — would provide ex-offenders with the opportunity to be considered for employment that they are qualified for, without fear of being denied consideration based solely on a previous conviction.
By pushing back background checks until later in the hiring process, the candidate will have the opportunity to prove their abilities and skills and begin to build a relationship with the employer before any mention of criminal convictions come into play. Employers will likely still be able to conduct background checks once a conditional employment offer is made, or if a position requires the applicant to pass a background check by federal law in order to complete the duties of that position.
It is expected that this order would apply to federal employers but not federal contractors.
It is estimated that more than 12 million citizens are ex-offenders.
Posted in pre-employment background checks
We’re excited to announce that our applicant tracking system (ATS) now integrates with 24 different customer relationship management (CRM) systems, allowing even more of our clients to maintain a more streamlined and effective hiring process.
Our recent integrations include ADP Virtual Edge, SalesForce, iCIMS, Workday, Workscape, HRsmart, Newton, Virtus Online, Kronos and more.
This integration capability allows MYB customers to maintain employment applicant and screening data all in one place, instead of having to keep background screening information and other employment information consistent across multiple platforms. By integrating with these major systems, employers can manage employees and job applicants more effectively, using a system they already have in place.
Tracking your employees and applicants is easy when all your systems work together! Our team is always ready to complete integration for you or to any other ATS that you and your clients need.
Get connected to Mind Your Business to learn more about how to simplify and streamline the background screening process in your business.
(Full list of CRM integrated systems: ADP Virtual Edge, Applicant Harbor, Peopleclick Authoria, HRsmart, iCIMS, Job Science, My Staffing Pro, PC Recruiter, Healthcare Source Position Manager, ERC Selectech, SilkRoad Open Hire, Smart Search, Taleo, Teds, Workscape, Kronos, AppliTrack, Workday, Boomi (SalesForce), Newton, Infor, PageUp People, Serenic Software, Virtus Online)
Posted in ban the box, criminal background checks, employment
New York City had already taken the first step toward job equality in banning pre-employment credit checks, and it’s continuing to prevent employment discrimination as its citywide ‘ban the box’ law goes into effect.
NYC’s Fair Chance Act was passed back in June, amending the city’s Human Rights Law, which previously protected individuals from employment discrimination on a similar basis as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, adding that an employer could not discriminate against an employee or applicant due to unemployment status, marital status, or status as a victim of domestic or sexual violence.
The addition of the Fair Chance Act to the Human Rights Act prohibits New York City employers from requesting information from job applicants about criminal records or pending convictions until after an employer has made a conditional job offer. If an employer decides at that time to revoke the job offer because of the results of a criminal history check, the employer must tell the applicant why the offer has been rescinded and give the applicant three days to respond after providing a copy of the background check used to make the decision.
Employers also cannot publish ads for jobs that state that a criminal history would preclude an applicant from being hired, either explicitly or implicitly.
Of course, there are exceptions to New York City’s new law. The law only applies to employers that have at least four employees, and standard exemptions apply for those working with vulnerable populations (children, elderly, etc.), in law enforcement or in other positions in which federal or state law requires a clean background check.
The Fair Chance Act went into effect on October 27.
Posted in background checks, criminal background checks, employment background screening, fingerprinting
As cities all over the country attempt to put laws in place that protect their citizens — requiring ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft to conduct fingerprint background checks before hiring drivers that will cruise the city streets — one Texas city has found itself up against an argument against fingerprint background checks for drivers.
The Austin City Council had recommended fingerprint background checks for Uber and Lyft drivers, but two local groups are not on board. Teddy McDaniel of the Austin Urban League and Nelson Linder of the Austin chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People wrote a letter to the Council arguing that fingerprint background checks disproportionately discriminate against minority and low-income individuals.
“The practice of using fingerprints to access a background database is not a real safety measure as it all-too-often captures only an individual’s arrest, not their conviction,” reads the letter. “As a result, this practice would disproportionately harm Austin’s African-American and Hispanic populations as they are already disproportionately arrested, but not necessarily charged or convicted of any offense.”
The two groups argue that because fingerprints are taken soon after an arrest — and are not frequently or regularly updated in federal databases to reflect whether or not an individual was charged or convicted — that a person can be listed as having an arrest record and be disqualified for a job driving for Uber or Lyft, even if that person does not have a criminal conviction.
While Austin does have a record of more arrests for low-income and minority individuals, council members suggest there is no indication that drivers would be disqualified from jobs driving for ride-share services due to an arrest with no conviction.
Both Austin and Travis County, the county in which Austin resides, have fair-hiring policies to help “ban the box.”
Posted in background checking, ban the box, criminal background checks, criminal record, employment, federal contractors, government
Several U.S. senators have introduced a bill that would make it illegal for the federal government to ask job applicants about their criminal records early in the hiring process.
The bill, called the “Fair Chance Act,” would prevent all three branches of the federal government from asking job applicants questions about their criminal records on a government job application. The Fair Chance Act would prevent background checks from being conducted until the government is ready to offer a position to the applicant.
The bill would “ban the box” on federal contractor job applications as well.
Jobs related to national security and law enforcement would, of course, be exceptions to the federal ban-the-box legislation if it were to pass.
Despite disagreements between the political parties, senators from both the Republican and Democratic parties have signed off on the Fair Chance Act.
“[W]e want to see every American succeed. That’s a goal we all share,” said Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, who is the chair of the Senate Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs committee, and the co-sponsor of the Fair Chance Act.
The bill is expected to succeed in the Senate, and a similar bill is currently working its way through the House of Representatives.
Ban the box legislation has been passed in 19 states (plus the District of Columbia) and more than 100 cities and counties in the U.S.
Next Page »