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Verifile International Newsletter Issue #18

04 Aug 2016

Welcome to our August edition of the International Newsletter 2016 which we hope you find helpful in keeping up to date.

In this issue of the International Newsletter:

WORLDWIDE NEWS

Résumé Fraud: Jealousy of Peers is a Factor

- 40 of 43 Countries Show Positive Hiring Intentions

A Look at Breach Notification Laws Around the World Summary

International Drug and Alcohol Testing Q&A

ASIA PACIFIC

 

AUSTRALIA

- Drugs, Alcohol and the Workplace

HONG KONG

- Innovation Nation: Hong Kong’s Eyes on the Future 

- Hong Kong Regulator to Begin Review of Data Privacy Laws

PHILLIPPINES 

Aquino Signs Bill Creating DICT

SINGAPORE  - Total Employment Grows in the First Quarter of 2016
EUROPE

- European Parliament Passes Resolution on the Privacy Shield

- What you Think you Know About the GDPR

- New EU Data Protection Regulation: Compliance in an Evolving Privacy Landscape

- Europe is Shifting, and it’s a big Deal – the new GDPR

GERMANY

- German Data Protection Authority Fines Companies for Transferring Data to the United States

IRELAND

- Employment References – A Risky Business?

SWEDEN

- Datainspektionen's "Pragmatic Approach to Alleviate GDPR Frictions"

NORTH AMERICA  
CANADA

- Federal Privacy Commissioner Daniel Therrien Calls for Update 

JAMAICA

- Criminal Records System Computerized in Jamaica

UNITED STATES

- With Credit Reporting Errors Harming Missourians, McCaskill Keeps up Fight to Protect Consumers 

- Current Federal Laws Preventing Upstate New York Summer Camps and Children’s Orgs From Access to FBI Sex Offender Background Checks

- Security Clearance Background Checks — McCaskill, Tester Probe Oversight Plans for Creation of New Agency

- California Federal Court Tentatively Approves $5.7 Million Deal to Settle Class Action Alleging 

- Waffle House Must Face Class Employment Claims

- Two Studies Claim Ban the Box Policies May Have Unintended Consequences

- Uber Settles Driver Lawsuit Over Background Checks, to pay $7.5 Million

- Trends in "Ban the Box" Movement:  Recent Developments in City Ordinances 

- Philadelphia Limits Employer Use of Credit Information

- Louisiana Legislature Passes "Ban the Box" for State Employers

- Commissioners Approve "Ban the Box" Ordinance

- Connecticut Joins Ban the Box Movement

- Staffing Co. Hit With 4209K Fine for I-9 Filing Violations 

SOUTH AMERICA

- Unemployment to Rise in Latin America and Caribbean in 2016

ARGENTINA

- NDPDP Evolves Into "More Proactive" Authority

BRAZIL

- The Latest Draft of the Law on the Protection of Personal Data

- Is Brazil Finally Walking Towards a General Data Protection Law?

 

World wide news 

EMPLOYMENT SCREENING NEWS

Résumé Fraud:  Jealousy of Peers is a Factor

Interviewing and hiring new employees is a difficult enough process, but the reality of résumé fraud makes it even worse. With candidates embellishing, padding or downright fabricating key parts of their backgrounds, employers may struggle to know what is real and what is fake. It’s critical to try and understand the motivation behind falsifying one’s credentials in order to get better at detecting this type of fraud. A recent article from Purdue University examines a study with an interesting finding: Résumé fraud is linked to job search envy. In other words, “unemployed job-seekers can be motivated to embellish their resumes when they are envious of peers,” according to the article. The study suggests a deeper psychological influence beyond simply trying to win a particular position. The study shows this can also have a positive influence: “We propose the envious reactions of job-seekers can be negative in the form of resume fraud, but can also be positive in the form of greater job search effort.”

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EMPLOYMENT OUTLOOK

40 OF 43 Countries Show Positive Hiring Intentions

Most employers across the globe plan to increase hiring over the next three months, though at a slightly slower pace than recent quarters. This is according to the latest Manpower Employment Outlook Survey, released by ManpowerGroup. Hiring confidence is strongest in India, Japan, Taiwan, Guatemala, Romania and the United States for the third quarter, with the weakest hiring forecasts being reported in Brazil, Italy and Switzerland.

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DATA PROTECTION & PRIVACY

A Look at Breach notification Laws Around the World Summary

A lot has changed since 2003 when California began enforcing the world's first data breach notification law, known as S.B. 1386. The law requires organizations in both the public and private sector to notify any California resident if their unencrypted personal information gets exposed, inadvertently or otherwise. Since then, breach notification laws have continued to spread, although notification is still not mandatory in most countries. Today, nearly 90 countries have data protection laws - or relevant court rulings - on the books, ranging from Angola and Argentina to Venezuela and Zimbabwe, according to the law firm DLA Piper. But many of those countries still don't require breached organizations to notify either authorities or the individuals whose personal information was exposed in the event of a breach.

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ALCOHOL & DRUG SCREENING

International Drug and Alcohol Testing Q&A With Coleen Voksdorf and Markus Timosaari

Insightful information on the state of international drug and alcohol testing with answers to many of the questions that have been on your mind such as "Is the volume of international collections increasing this year? And which countries are conducting the most testing? Coleen Volksdork and Markus Timosaari also share their advice for companies that want to start drug testing internationally. This article is a must read to stay current on what is happening globally regarding drug and alcohol testing. 

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Asia Pacific

Australia

Drugs, Alcohol and the Workplace

What obligations do employers hold to employees in terms of protecting them from other intoxicated workers? Persons Conducting Business or Undertaking (PCBUs) have an onerous duty to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety of workers and others in their workplace under WHS laws. This includes the provision of a safe work environment, information, instruction, training and supervision in relation to WHS that extends to being under the influence of drugs or alcohol at work. In this context, what are 'reasonably practicable steps' to protect the health and safety of workers? A drug and alcohol policy should generally be introduced to regulate, if not eliminate, the use of drugs and alcohol in the workplace. It is important to assess the risks associated with drug and alcohol use in the workplace, document a policy that seeks to eliminate those risks, require compliance with the policy and procedure as a term of the employment agreement and consistently enforce non-compliance.

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Hong Kong

EMPLOYMENT OUTLOOK

Innovation Nation: Hong Kong’s Eyes on the Future 

Energy, ingenuity and international outlook make Hong Kong a fertile territory for success, says Peter Mathieson, president of the University of Hong Kong. Hong Kong has low taxation, high employment, a permissive regulatory framework and uncensored communications. It also has a creative “can-do” spirit, an enviable track record of adaptability and resilience and excellent supplies of talented, educated, often bilingual or trilingual youngsters. Hong Kong has a university system that annually produces vast numbers of graduates brimming with ideas, enthusiasm and energy. There are examples in Asian culture that Hong Kong can collaborate with and learn from. We simply need to provide the environment for them to flourish. Of course, this will require expansion of current infrastructure and more funding, public and private, but Hong Kong has the insight to realise that it will need to adapt in order to compete.

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DATA PROTECTION & PRIVACY

Hong Kong Regulator to Begin Review of Data Privacy Laws

Hong Kong will begin a review of its data privacy rules over the next 18 months, with a view to potentially updating them in line with technological developments and changes in European regulation, the territory's privacy regulator said. Hong Kong's data privacy legislation was drawn-up nearly 20 years ago and based at the time on European Union law, but recent changes to the EU framework and a technology-driven explosion in personal data may mean the current rules need to change, Stephen Wong Kai-yi, Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data, said. "It's not just a matter [of] protecting individuals, we would like to protect the interests of commercial enterprises," said Wong, adding that the regulator would propose legislative changes if appropriate. Hong Kong's data privacy laws are relatively strict, but a review of the regime would help to account for changes in technology and developments in international data privacy law that have occurred since they were last tweaked in 2012.

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Phillipines

Aquino Signs Bill Creating DICT

The long wait of the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector is finally over. President Aquino has signed the bill creating the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT). The DICT Act of 2015 will also be known as Republic Act (RA) No. 10844. “The DICT shall be the primary policy, planning, coordinating, implementing and administrative entity of the Executive branch of the government that will plan, develop and promote the national ICT development agenda,” the new law read. Among its powers and functions include establishing a free internet service that can be accessed in government offices and public areas; assisting in the dissemination of vital information essential to disaster risk reduction through the use of ICT; and ensuring and protecting the rights and welfare of consumers and business users to privacy, security and confidentiality in matters relating to ICT, among others.

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Singapore

Total Employment Grows in the First Quarter of 2016

Total employment in Singapore grew by 13,000 in the first quarter of 2016, a reversal from the decline of 6,100 in the same period last year according to the latest Labour Market Report for Q1 by the Ministry of Manpower Singapore. Total employment was lower than the seasonal high growth of 16,100 in the fourth quarter of 2015. The report also showed that the seasonally adjusted overall unemployment rate was at 1.9% in March 2016. Unemployment declined among residents (2.9% to 2.7%) and citizens (3.0% to 2.6%), in comparison to the previous quarter. However, long-term unemployment rate increased from 0.5% to 0.7%. Even though job openings continued to outnumber job seekers, the seasonally adjusted ratio has declined to 103 openings per 100 job seekers in March 2016, its lowest since June 2012 (98 openings per 100 job seekers).

Read more

Europe

 

DATA PROTECTION & PRIVACY

European Parliament Passes Resolution on the Privacy Shield

The Article 29 Working Party published its Opinion on the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield draft adequacy decision. The Privacy Shield was created to replace the previous Safe Harbor framework invalidated by the Court of Justice of the European Union in the Schrems decision. The Working Party also published a Working Document on the justification for interferences with the fundamental rights to privacy and data protection through surveillance measures when transferring personal data. The Working Party recognized that the Privacy Shield is a significant improvement to the Safe Harbor framework. However, the Working Party also stressed the overall complexity and lack of clarity regarding the new framework and expressed concerns with respect to both the commercial and national security aspects of the Privacy Shield. The Working Party urged the European Commission to resolve their concerns, identify appropriate solutions to improve its draft adequacy decision, and ensure the protection offered by the Privacy Shield is indeed essentially equivalent to that offered by European data protection laws.

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What you Think you Know About the GDPR... and why you may be Wrong

Europe’s new data protection law, the General Data Protection Regulation (or GDPR for short) is an undeniably complex piece of legislation. Privacy professionals everywhere have a lot to learn and - thankfully - there have been many excellent articles written on the topic. For the most part, these focus on the changes that the GDPR will bring about and, specifically, the compliance actions that organisations must take. By contrast, less has been said about what the new law will NOT require. This might sound unsurprising, but it’s important to remember that, during the course of its adoption, the text of the GDPR changed many times. As a result, some provisions that were originally proposed were dropped from the final law (or otherwise changed beyond recognition), and this inevitably created a certain amount of confusion. Then throw in a sprinkling of occasional misreporting, together with a dash of Chinese whispers, and suddenly knowing what the law does NOT require becomes almost as important as knowing what it does require.

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New EU Data Protection Regulation:  Compliance in an Evolving Privacy Landscape

The General Data Protection Regulation (the Regulation) is now in an agreed form pending formal ratification by the EU. While implementation of the Regulation is still over two years away, the road to compliance is likely to be a long one for many organizations. The Regulation represents a significant strengthening of European data protection legislation, both in terms of obligations imposed on organizations and in terms of the rights granted to individuals. It will replace the Data Protection Act 1998 in the UK, which has been in force for over 15 years. With fines under the Regulation capped at a staggering 20 million Euros for a single breach, it is worth considering whether or not you are currently satisfied with your organization’s level of compliance? If not, urgent action is required if your organization is to be ready for the much more demanding obligations which will be imposed under the Regulation.

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Europe is Shifting, and it's a big Deal - the new GDPR

On May 4th the European Parliament published the final text of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and the rules of the game have significantly changed. First, the GDPR changes the underlying approach to data protection law, with a new emphasis placed on accountability and risk-based approaches. Second, significant changes have been made to the obligations of “controllers” and “processors”. These include specific criteria for having compliant privacy notices and vendor management contracts. Third, enforcement is now a very real, and potentially risky, thing. With the possibility of administrative fines being up to 4% of a business’ global gross revenue, private rights of action by individuals, and non-profit privacy watchdog groups having the right to complain of a company’s privacy practices directly to the local Data Protection Authorities; compliance with the GDPR will now be one of those risks that any business who touches EU data will need to seriously consider.

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Germany 2

German Data Protection Authority Fines Companies for Transferring Data to the United States

Following the CJEU’s judgment of October 2015 invalidating the European Commission’s Safe Harbor Decision, the Data Protection Authority Hamburg (DPA Hamburg) started investigations against 35 internationally operating companies in Hamburg. According to a press release of DPA Hamburg, these investigations revealed that the majority of the companies under investigation had used the six month grace period, as set by the Article 29 Working Party, to change their practices to be based on standard contractual clauses. However, according to DPA Hamburg, some companies under investigation have failed to implement alternative measures in order to legitimize data transfers to the United States. Consequently, DPA Hamburg determined that data transfers by those companies lack a sufficient legal basis and are, therefore, illegal. The investigations of DPA Hamburg demonstrate that German DPAs are keen to investigate and fine companies which have failed to take appropriate measures.

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 Ireland

Employment References - A Risky Business?

A recent Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) decision in the UK demonstrates the risks of employment references, both for those who issue them and those who rely on them. In this case, Ms. X suffered from a "disability" and had prolonged periods of absence throughout her employment with Company A. Company A mentioned Ms. X's absence in her employment reference and also commented that it felt she was unsuitable for the role with Company B. As a result, Company B withdrew the job offer it had made to Ms. X. The EAT found both Company A and Company B were guilty of discrimination. Although the case was in the UK, had the same facts come before the Workplace Relations Commission in Ireland, a similar outcome may have resulted. In Ireland the Employment Equality Acts, 1998-2015 (the EEA), prohibit discrimination on nine grounds. Employers need to be mindful of what they include in employment references, whether in writing or verbal.

Read more

 Sweden

Datainspektionen's "Pragmatic Approach to Alleviate GDPR Frictions"

The Swedish data protection authority (Datainspektionen) released a checklist to assist organisations in the assessment of the measures required to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and 20 frequently asked questions (FAQs) focusing on data processors, data protection officers (DPOs) and breach notification. The FAQs clarify that any conflict of national laws and regulations with the GDPR, such as the Patient Data Act 2008, will be the subject of further review at the legislative level. "As the Datainspektionen is known and respected for being pragmatic, I expect it to do what it can to alleviate potential sources of friction,” said Henrik Nilsson, Partner at Gärde Wesslau. “I am however worried that the Datainspektionen will not be granted the increase in resources it will require to respond to the new obligations and expectations the introduction of the GDPR will entail." Nilsson further commented, "My personal guess is that Sweden will not extend DPO appointment requirements beyond what is mandated, given the culture of a light-handed regulatory approach." 

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North America

 

Canada 2

Federal Privacy Commissioner Daniel Therrien Calls for Privacy act Update

Daniel Therrien used his opening keynote address to announce a new sweeping consultation on the nature of consent and to call for an update to the “archaic” Privacy Act that covers the handling of citizen data. The consent consultation is an “important exercise,” Therrien said, because PIPEDA “predates smart phones, cloud computing, and business models predicated on unlimited access to information and automated processes that use algorithms to make decisions. The Office of the Privacy Commissioner released a position paper that presents a sort of state of the state for consent, identifying troubling issues for the current consent model in PIPEDA and offering up a suite of possible solutions. Many are calling, Therrien noted, for accountability frameworks and ethics boards and other methods for organizations to assess privacy risk and make use decisions without the explicit consent of the data owners. “We have a fundamentally changed privacy landscape. We are at a critical point where action is needed.”

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Jamaica

Criminal Records System Computerized in Jamaica

The Jamaica Constabulary Force’s (JCF) criminal records system is now computerized at a cost of approximately $98.1 million. Established through funding from the Government of the United Kingdom (UK) the electronic database replaces the manual format of documentation at the Criminal Records Office on Duke Street in Kingston. The facility now enables the JCF to streamline the collation and storage of new and existing data, and their retrieval for use in investigations and court hearings, among other proceedings. The collaboration between Jamaica and the UK also facilitated training in the use of the technology by several JCF officers. Installation of the electronic database is the first of two phases of support being provided through the UK-based ACRO Criminal Records Office. The second will entail further development of the JCF’s fingerprint database for which over $134 million in additional financing support will be provided by the UK Government’s Home Office Conflict, Stability and Security Fund.

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United States

EMPL0YMENT SCREENING NEWS

With Credit Reporting Errors Harming Missourians, McCaskill Keeps up Fight to Protect Consumers

After receiving complaints from individuals around the country who have had trouble removing erroneous information or even learning about what is contained in their specialty credit report, U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill continued to fight for consumers by pushing for more information from the little-known world of consumer reporting agencies (CRAs). While consumers might be familiar with the three large credit bureaus—Experian, Equifax and TransUnion—the smaller CRAs typically only make themselves known to consumers after the consumers have been subjected to an adverse action. Although the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has oversight authority over these CRAs, it is not required that the CRAs register with the agency, so there is no central list or database.

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Current Federal Laws Preventing Upstate New York Summer Camps and Children's Orgs From Access to FBI Sex Offender Background Checks

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer launched a campaign to pass his bipartisan legislation that would close the gaping hole in the federal law that prevents summer camps and other not-for-profit organizations that work with children from gaining access to federal sex offender background checks on new employees and volunteers. Schumer explained that, under current law, many children’s summer camps, day cares, charity organizations and more only have access to New York State’s criminal database. Because this is the only resource most local groups have access to, they often lack records of criminal activity committed out of state. Because the FBI databases are widely considered the most accurate and complete criminal databases, Schumer said it is critical these summer camps and other organizations have access to these records when hiring employees. 

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Security Clearance Background Checks - McCaskill, Tester Probe Oversight Plans for Creation of New Agency

U.S. Senators Claire McCaskill and Jon Tester are probing the transition of federal security clearance background checks to a newly created agency — raising concerns about whether there is a concrete plan for the creation, operation and oversight of the new bureau. “We are concerned that this transition is moving forward without firm plans in place for the transition, operation and oversight of the new bureau,” the Senators wrote in the letter.  “We also want to ensure that the [National Background Investigations Bureau] will not simply be a new name for the [Federal Investigative Service]. Instead, it is critical that you make significant structural changes to improve the integrity, management and oversight of the security clearance process. We also remain concerned about the timeliness of current and pending investigations and want to ensure that plans are in place to address the significant backlog of background investigations during this transition, while maintaining the integrity of the investigation process.”

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California Federal Court Tentatively Approves $5.7 Million Deal to Settle Class Action Alleging FCRA Violations Based on Background Checks

A California federal judge issued a written tentative ruling indicating that she would likely approve AutoZone, Inc.’s agreement to pay $5.7 million to settle claims that the company illegally ran credit checks on 200,000 prospective employees. In September 2014, two individuals filed suit on behalf of a class against AutoZone that alleges AutoZone was routinely running background checks on prospective employees without complying with applicable law. According to plaintiffs, AutoZone failed to properly disclose to potential hires that it was running background checks on them, thereby violating state law and the FCRA. The auto parts retailer has proposed payment of the $5.7 million settlement amount in the form of $20 in cash or $40 in gift cards to class members.

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Waffle House Must Face Class Employment Claims

A class action claiming Waffle House didn't hire prospective employees based on false information garnered from background checks, will proceed, despite Waffle House trying to shut the case down. Lead plaintiff William Jones attempted to get a job at a Waffle House in Ormond Beach, Florida in December 2014, and claims the defendant restaurant chain violated the FCRA because it procured a background report from defendant The Source for Public Data, L.P, without taking adequate steps to make sure the information reported was accurate. Jones claims that Waffle House refused to hire him based on the information about supposed criminal convictions, despite it being false. Waffle House and Public Data moved to dismiss the lawsuit for lack of standing. U.S. District Judge Roy Dalton, Jr. tossed Waffle House's motion holding that "as a general rule, 'federal claims should not be dismissed on a motion for lack of subject matter.

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Two Studies Claim Ban the Box Policies May Have Unintended Consequences

Two studies on “Ban the Box” policies  – one by The Brookings Institution and the other by the University of Chicago – claim that these well intentioned laws meant to help ex-offenders re-enter the workforce may have the unintended consequence of causing more harm than good for minority job seekers. The Brookings Institution study measured the effects of Ban the Box policies on the employment of young and low-skilled men and found African-American and Hispanic men without college degrees were “significantly less likely” to be employed after Ban the Box policies were implemented. This unintended consequence of Ban the Box policies run counter to reducing racial disparities in employment. The University of Chicago study found that before any Ban the Box policies took effect that white job applicants were only slightly more likely to receive a call back from an employer for jobs than black job applicants. However, after Ban the Box policies were implemented, white job applicants were four times more likely to receive a call back from an employer for employment than black job applicants.

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Uber Settles Driver Lawsuit Over Background Checks, to pay $7.5 Million

Uber has agreed to pay $7.5 million to settle a lawsuit brought by drivers over background checks conducted by the ride-hailing company. The case in San Francisco federal court involved allegations that Uber terminated drivers from its platform after obtaining their consumer background reports without authorization. The settlement is the latest in an effort by Uber to remove some of the litigation risk facing the company. Uber agreed in April to pay up to $100 million to settle a separate class action lawsuit involving drivers who claimed they were employees entitled to benefits, not independent contractors. Lawyers representing drivers in the background check case filed a memorandum of understanding in court and said they are in the process of drafting a formal settlement. Both settlements must be approved by a San Francisco federal court judge.

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Trends in the "Ban the Box" Movement:  Recent Developments in City Ordinances 

As cities across the nation adopt “ban the box” legislation that regulates private employers’ ability to inquire into applicants’ and employees’ criminal histories, employers face a nuanced gauntlet of compliance issues. Because of the current wave of ban the box ordinances is likely to continue, employers should continue to evaluate their pre-employment and hiring practices and make necessary adjustments. Specifically, affected employers should review their employment applications, advertisements, and postings to ensure that any questions regarding an applicant’s criminal history are legally compliant for each cities and municipalities. Affected employers should also make sure all hiring/recruiting managers are apprised of the new ordinance requirements through training and revision of policies.

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Philadelphia Limits Employer Use of Credit Information 

Beginning July 7, 2016, employers in Philadelphia may not consider credit history or other credit-related information for job-related decisions for many non-managerial jobs. This change stems from an amendment to the Fair Practices Ordinance approved by City Council and signed by Mayor Jim Kenney. Subject to certain exemptions, the amendment makes it an unlawful discriminatory practice for a covered employer to procure, to seek to procure, or to use credit information of an employee or applicant in connection with hiring, discharge, tenure, promotion, discipline, or consideration of any other "term, condition, or privilege of employment" for the employee or applicant. Philadelphia employers should guard against potential pitfalls of the new law. The amendment also makes it unlawful for an employer to procure or to seek a person's cooperation or consent to procure credit information. 

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Louisiana Legislature Passes "Ban the Box" for State Employers

Louisiana is anticipated to become the latest state to enact statewide protections for applicants with criminal backgrounds under the well-known “ban the box” movement. The bill, HB 266, recently passed both houses of the Louisiana Legislature and is currently awaiting approval from Governor John Bel Edwards, who is expected to sign the bill into law. Louisiana private employers will not be affected by the law as written. This bill only affects state employers, which are defined as “any department, office, division, agency, commission, board, committee, or other organizational unit of the state.” Once enacted, state employers may not inquire about a prospective employee’s criminal history at any time prior to an initial interview. If the prospective employer does not conduct an interview, then the employer may not require the applicant to disclose a criminal conviction prior to making a conditional offer of employment.

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Commissioners Approve "Ban the Box" Ordinance

People applying for a job in Broward County government will no longer be initially asked if they've been arrested or have a criminal background. Commissioners unanimously voted to "ban the box," a phrase that refers to the check box on employment applications that asks about a person's past criminal wrong doing. "I think we are leading the way here by setting an example that we ought to ensure everyone has an opportunity to provide for themselves," said Broward Commissioner Dale V.C. Holness, who first brought the ordinance to the Board for approval.

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Connecticut Joins Ban the Box Movement

Connecticut has joined the “Ban the Box” movement, becoming the most recent state in the nation to implement statewide legislation prohibiting employers from making inquiries into an applicant’s criminal history on job applications, except under certain circumstances. Employers should review their job applications now to ensure compliance by the January 1, 2017, effective date. Employers still may make criminal background inquiries in Connecticut, but the timing of such inquiries now shifts to later in the hiring process, such as during the interview process or contingent upon an offer. Additionally, Connecticut’s prior restraints on erased record inquiries remain in effect. Under the law, employers may inquire into an applicant’s criminal background when required under state or federal law, or when the job requires a security or fidelity bond or equivalent bond. 

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Staffing Co. Hit With $209K Fine for I-9 Filing Violations

A judge with the U.S. Department of Justice immigration office has ordered a temporary employment company to pay nearly $210,000 for more than 400 failures to properly file work authorization forms, skewing closer to the government’s damages calculation despite some mitigating circumstances. Administrative Law Judge Ellen K. Thomas of the Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer found Golden Employment Group Inc. failed to prepare or present 236 I-9 forms, didn’t properly complete 89 such forms and failed to timely file them on 140 occasions. The Form I-9 is used to confirm an employee’s identity and work authorization. Finding the instances of failure to submit forms were more egregious than the late or improper filings, Thomas assessed a penalty of $500 for each of the missing forms and $400 for the other 229, for a total of $209,600.

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South America

Unemployment to Rise in Latin America and Caribbean in 2016

According to the International Labour Organization and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), unemployment is set to rise in the Latin America and Caribbean labour markets. Both UN organisations state that the evolution of labour markets in Latin America and the Caribbean during 2016 will generally be negative, due to forecasts for a more deteriorated macroeconomic context and growth levels than last year and to the weakening of some employment indicators. These factors, along with the low dynamism in job creation, will likely lead to an increase in urban unemployment of more than half a percentage point (0.5%) in 2016 versus 2015. In general, in Central American countries, Mexico, the Dominican Republic and the Caribbean nations the labour market’s evolution was more favorable than in South America, whose performance was affected by the impact of the external context on its economic activity and inflation, among other factors.

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Argentina

NDPDP Evolves Into "More Proactive" Authority

The Argentinian National Directorate for Personal Data Protection (NDPDP) announced in April 2016, that it launched investigations into Uber, Inc. and Club Atletico Tigre respectively, to determine whether their data processing practices comply with the Argentinian Personal Data Protection Act 2000. The NDPDP requested the companies provide information on their practices in relation to the collection and protection of data within ten days. Florencia Rosati and Ambrosio Nougues, Partner and Counsel at Estudio Beccar Varela respectively said, "After the presidential elections last year, the NDPDP is going through an internal reorganisation. As a consequence of this, we understand that the NDPDP is evolving into a more proactive authority, thus, compliance with the data protection regulations will become a challenge and an important issue to be dealt with by companies.” Compliance with the data protection regulations will become a challenge and an important issue to be dealt with by companies. 

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Brazil

DATA PROTECTION & PRIVACY

The Latest Draft of the Brazilian Law on the Protection of Personal Data

In 2010, Brazil launched the first version of a draft law that aimed to comprehensively regulate personal data protection. The first version — which not only provided a concept of personal data, but also several general data processing principles, data subjects’ rights and data controllers´ duties — was open to an online public discussion in 2011. An updated version was released in January 2015, and it was also open to public consultations through a platform on the Brazilian Ministry of Justice website that ended up receiving more than 1500 comments from all over the world. This newest version, which incorporated several suggestions from the comments, was made available on October 20 of this year. The draft bill shall soon be presented to the National Congress as a bill of law, which will initiate a (possibly long) period of new discussions that shall engage, once more, all civil society.

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Is Brazil Finally Walking Towards a General Data Protection Law?

After almost six years, two public consultations and one day before being suspended from office due to an impeachment process, President Dilma Rousseff sent to Congress the Draft Bill on Personal Data Protection, which was transformed into the House of Deputies Bill 5276/2016 and will follow a shortened legislative procedure after being attributed to a constitutional urgency regime. Brazil might have its General Data Protection Law approved within the next three months if no surprises take place, such as comprehensive amendments or the constitutional urgency is not withdrawn by the provisional Presidency. Therefore, after six years, its internalization by both houses of the National Congress through their own legislative initiatives; the revitalization of the debates throughout 2015; the constitutional urgency attributed to one of three initiatives; and the apolitical declarations in favor of the topic, it is possible to conclude without a doubt that Brazil walks in a never before seen pace to finally have a General Data Protection Law. 

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