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Verifile International Newsletter Issue #22

24 Apr 2017

Welcome to our April edition of the International Newsletter 2017 which we hope you find helpful in keeping up to date.

In this issue of the International Newsletter:

WORLDWIDE

- Eu Aims For Data Transfer Deal With Japan, South Korea

- Crisis? What Crisis? Study Says Europe Leads World In Business Talent

AFRICA & MIDDLE EAST  
KAZAKHSTAN

- Kazakhstan Introducing Compulsory Fingerprinting Program

QATAR

- Qatar Leads the Way With New Standalone Data Protection Law

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

- UAE Plans To Start Carrying Out Background Checks on All Expatriates

ASIA PACIFIC

- Asia Pacific Business Leaders Concerned About Trump Presidency, Survey Finds

AUSTRALIA

- Review Of Queensland Privacy and Right To Information Legislation

JAPAN

- Changes In Japan Privacy Law To Take Effect In Mid-2017

MACAU

- Macau Data Transfer Enforcement Decision

SINGAPORE

- Redundancy Figures Reach Seven-Year High

- Unemployment Rate Reaches Six-Year High as Redundancy Rate Rises

- Tan Kiat How: A Conversation with Singapore’s New Data Protection Commissioner

EUROPE  
HUNGARY

- Hungary Comprehensive and Strict Guidance on Workplace Privacy

- Hungary Defines Legal Grounds for Data Processing In The Workplace

IRELAND

- 44 Percent of Irish Employees Are Likely to Move Jobs In The Coming 18 Months

SWITZERLAND

- New Rules for The Cross-Border Transfer of Personal Data Between The U.S. And Switzerland

UNITED KINGDOM

- Criminal Record Check for Tier 2 UK Migrants

NORTH AMERICA  
CANADA

- Dealing With Marijuana In The Workplace

SOUTH AMERICA  
CHILE

- Chile Expected to Consider New Data Protection Legislation

UNITED STATES

- Employment Background Checks: In a State of Flux, but Still Worth Doing

- The Top 5 International Data Privacy issues for Employers in 2017

- Philadelphia the latest to Restrict Employer inquiries into Applicants' Salary History

- Albany County Enacts Legislation Prohibiting Inquiries into Criminal Convictions for County Employment

- Bare Statutory Violation of FCRA Fails to Satisfy Standing Requirements Post-Spokeo, Says District of New Jersey in Suit Over Michaels Employment Disclosures

- California Employers Are Subjecty to New Requirements When Using Criminal History Information

- California Further Limits Use of Criminal Background Information

- Employer Commits Willful Violation of Fair Credit Reporting Act by Including Waiver in Satutorily Mandated Disclosure

- FCRA Suit Against Amazon Moves Forward

- Federal Appeals Court Concludes that Employer Violates Fair Credit Reporting Act by Including Liability Waiver in Mandated Disclosure

- New Child Care Background Check Bill Leaves More Questions than Answers

- New FCRA Class Action Against UPS Shows Traditional FCRA Claims Alive and Well

- New Los Angeles Regulations Provide Clarity on Ban-the-Box Directives

- Ninth Circuit: "Solely" Means "Solely" When It Comes to FCRA-Mandated Disclosures

- Ohio State and Federal Courts Find No Standing to Assert Technical Violations of the FCRA's Background Check Disclosure Requirement

- Los Angeles Ban the Box - New Individualized Assessment and Reassessment Form

- Florida Employers: Here Comes Medical Marijuana - Are You Ready?

 

World wide news

EU Aims for Data Transfer Deal with Japan, South Korea

The European Union hopes to seal commercial data transfer deals with Japan and South Korea to boost business ties, and plans to tackle barriers to the free flow of data within the bloc. Cross-border data flows are key to most businesses. These can include moving employee information around, credit card details to complete online transactions, and people's browsing habits to serve them targeted ads. However, strict EU data protection rules forbid companies from storing European’s information on servers in countries deemed to have an inadequate level of privacy. A data transfer deal with Japan and South Korea would allow firms doing business there and in the EU to move data seamlessly without having to ask regulators for permission or setting up expensive legal contracts.

Read more

Crisis? What Crisis? Study Says Europe Leads World in Business Talent

A major global study, the 3rd annual World Talent Report from IMD business school has identified crisis-riddled Europe as home to nine of the 10 economies best equipped to develop, attract and retain business talent. Switzerland and Denmark still comfortably hold first and second spots, as they did last year, with Belgium rated third, Sweden fourth and the Netherlands fifth. Finland, Norway, Austria, Luxembourg and Hong Kong complete the top 10, with Germany (11), Iceland (16), Ireland (18) and the UK (20) also featuring in the first 20. Many prominent economies fare disappointingly, with the US 14th, as it was in 2015, Japan 30th and mainland China slipping further down the rankings to 43rd.

Read more

Africa Middle East

Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan Introducing Compulsory Fingerprinting Program

By 2021, Kazakhstan’s Interior Ministry plans to create a national fingerprint database that would include details on all the country’s citizens. The initiative will cost 36.8 billion tenge ($107 million). Kazakhstan is drawing on the experience of the European Union, where member nations of the Schengen zone are required to provide fingerprint information to obtain travel documents. Under the new rules, the chip incorporated in the document will also include prints from two fingers. The rules will also apply to foreign citizens living in Kazakhstan. DNA registration will be mandatory for people convicted of serious crimes. Refusing to register details will be punishable by a fine.

Read more

Qatar

Qatar Leads the Way with New Standalone Data Protection Law

The Qatari government has passed a law requiring a minimum level of protection for personal data within the State of Qatar. It is the first GCC member state to issue a generally applicable data protection law. The law introduces new requirements with regards to how employers maintain and manage their employee’s information. It will require action to ensure compliance, both for governance reasons and because the law includes breach fines. The Law will help build consumer trust in Qatar in the online environment. It comes at a time when the rapid pace of technological change means that more personal data than ever before is being processed electronically, including due to the advance of big data and Internet of things technologies.

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United Arab Emirates

UAE Plans to Start Carrying Out Background Checks on All Expatriates

The UAE may soon begin carrying out background checks on all expatriate workers entering the country, meaning foreign workers will need to present a good conduct certificate from their home countries to local authorities before they can take up a job in the UAE. According to a Gulf News report, there are 4.5 million expat workers residing in the UAE who have not undergone security checks. Security clearance certificates are currently required from Emiratis but not currently from expatriates. The government also plans to increase the percentage of skilled workers to 40 percent of the workforce by 2021. Currently, nearly 79 percent of workers fall into an “unskilled’ category.

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Asia Pacific

Asia Pacific Business Leaders Concerned about Trump Presidency, Survey Finds

Asia Pacific business leaders feel the election of Donald Trump to the U.S. presidency could be negative for the region in the long run, although they have yet to feel the effect on their businesses, according to research by Harvey Nash. The "Trump Effect on Asia" survey found that leaders expressed concern about the lasting impact of a Trump presidency. Specifically, 29 percent of respondents expect Trump will have a long-term negative impact on APAC business profits, 19 percent are assessing their existing trade deals with the U.S., and 7 percent have cut budgets as a result of Trump’s victory. Also, 59 percent of respondents believe that trade and tariff negotiations will be affected, 49 percent foresee market instability, and 30 percent anticipate an economic slowdown in the region.

Read more

Australia

Review of Queensland Privacy and Right to Informaton Legislation

On December 13, 2016, the Queensland Government announced a review of Queensland’s privacy and right to information legislation. The review aims to determine whether the primary purposes of the Information Privacy Act 2009 (IP Act) and the Right to Information Act 2009 (RTI Act) remain valid and whether the Acts achieve those purposes. The review also aims to capitalize on developments around the world with respect to privacy protection and information management. Unlike the Commonwealth Privacy Act, which underwent substantial reforms in 2014, the IP Act and the RTI Act have not been substantially amended since their commencement in 2009. The Queensland Office of the Information Commissioner is seeking submissions from interested parties, including on the issues outlined in a consultation paper published by DJAG.

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Japan

Changes in Japan Privacy Law to Take Effect in Mid-2017

Recent changes to Japan’s Act on the Protection of Personal Information (APPI) and the establishment of a new Personal Information Protection Commission (PPC) have raised questions about how Japan plans to implement new domestic requirements and engage internationally on cross-border data transfers, APEC, new technologies, and more. In anticipation of the amended APPI taking full effect on May 30, 2017, Hogan Lovells recently hosted two of Japan’s most senior officials and authorities on these topics—Director Yoshikazu Okamoto of the PPC Secretariat and Keio University’s Dr. Fumio Shimpo—to provide guidance on the issues.

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Macau

Macau Data Transfer Enforcement Decision

On January 6, 2017, the Office for Personal Data Protection (GPDP) announced that it fined a organization MOP 12,000 (approx. €1,410) for breaching the data transfer restrictions under Articles 19 and 20 of the Personal Data Protection Act 2005, due to the fact that it did not notify the GPDP before such transfer, nor did it obtain consent. Michelle Chan and Clarice Yue, Partner and Senior Associate respectively at Bird & Bird, told DataGuidance, “In the digital era, it is unavoidable for international businesses to transfer data from one jurisdiction to another. However, as the data transfer requirements in different jurisdictions may vary, it is vital for international businesses to come up with an overall policy in respect of data transfers across the applicable jurisdictions.”

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Singapore

Singapore Ranked Second in global Talent Competitiveness

Singapore continues to be an attractive proposition for the brightest global talents. According to the fourth edition of the Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI) by business school INSEAD, Singapore ranked second. The GTCI is an annual benchmarking report that measures the ability of nations to compete for talent. Switzerland sat at the summit of the rankings, with Singapore in second place. Several key patterns were deduced from this year’s index, including technology and hyper-connectivity are altering the nature of work, it is imperative to think beyond automation and it’s not solely about technology, and echnical skills along with social and project capabilities are essential for the new talent profile since innovation increasingly derives from collaboration.

Read more

Unemployment Rate Reaches Six-Year High as Redundancy Rate Rises

Singapore’s unemployment rate for the year 2016 rose to 2.1%, its highest level since 2010, according to the latest Labour Market Advance Release 2016 report from the Ministry of Manpower. The report also shows that for 2016, redundancies rose to 19,000, mainly due to restructuring and a slower economy. Redundancies have trended up since 2010, but remained lower than the recessionary high in 2009. Meanwhile, layoffs increased across all broad sectors. Year-on-year, the median income of citizens grew at a slower pace in 2016. The figures also show that while local employment grew in 2016, foreign employment contracted.

Read more

Tan Kiat How: A Conversation with Singapore's New Data Protection Commissioner

With the new year came a new chief executive officer at Singapore’s Infocomm Media Development Authority. Tan Kiat How took over as CEO of the IMDA, as well as commissioner of the IMDA-housed Personal Data Protection Commission, on Jan. 1, having previously served as Deputy Secretary (Cyber and Technology) of the Ministry of Communications and Information. In a Q&A, the new head of the PDPC discusses the commission’s role in educating the commercial sector, the major issues he sees in privacy and data protection, and provides his views on Singapore’s place in the global privacy community.

Read more

Europe

Hungary

Hungary Comprehensive and Strict Guidance on Workplace Privacy

NAIH, Hungary’s Authority for Data Protection and Freedom of Information, issued a new guidance on the general requirements of workplace data processing. NAIH’s guidance is not only stricter than EU standards, but also repeals some practices commonly used in Hungary. Topics include permitted data processing purposes in the workplace, applicable law for parent companies’ activities, employee data transfers, Privacy notices and NAIH registrations and specific workplace data processing operations and employee monitoring. NAIH also provides guidance on the assessment of specific data processing operations, such as handling job applications, workplace tests, social media and background checks.

Read more

Hungary Defines Legal Grounds for Data Processing in the Workplace

Due to the nature of employment relationships, personal employee data are processed in countless contexts every day. However, Hungarian labor regulations have very limited provisions on data processing at the workplace. To provide some clarity, at the end of 2016 the President of the Hungarian National Authority for Data Protection and Freedom of Information published guidelines on the requirements of data processing in the workplace. In addition to general data protection requirements, the guidelines also summarize the requirements for certain special types of data processing at the workplace, such as camera surveillance; the monitoring of workplace telephones, computers, Internet, and e-mail accounts; GPS and biometric systems; and whistleblowing hotlines. It appears likely that data protection authority will continue to follow these comprehensive guidelines even after the General Data Protection Regulation comes into force on May 28, 2018.

Read more

Ireland

44 Percent of Irish Employees are Likely to Move Jobs in the Coming 18 Months

According to a Fastnet survey, almost half of Irish employees are likely to move jobs in the coming 18 months with career acceleration and professional development ranking above financial rewards and flexibility for both male and female talent considering a career move. The survey shows that a clear career development path in a role is very attractive and important to both male and female employees, although men were far more likely to be motivated by a performance related bonus compared to women. More than double the number of employees would prefer to work for a startup company rather than work in the public sector and not-for-profit organizations. The survey also revealed that female employees are twice as likely to stay in a role compared to their male counterparts. Flexibility in the workplace is a key motivator for female employees, with more than three quarters ranking flexi-working hours and remote working as the number one factor when considering a new role,

Read more

Switzerland

New Rules for the Cross-Border Transfer of Personal Data Between the U.S. and Switzerland

The U.S. and Swiss governments have finalized a Privacy Shield agreement to allow the cross-border transfer of personal data from Switzerland to the United States. Under the new Swiss – U.S. Privacy Shield framework, companies can begin self-certification under this program on April 12, 2017. It provides U.S. companies with a single mechanism for complying with Swiss data protection and privacy laws when transferring data from Switzerland to the U.S. The framework also includes assurances from the U.S. government that the U.S. law enforcement and intelligence communities will not have unfettered access to EU and Swiss citizen data.

Read more

United Kingdom 2

Criminal Record Check for Tier2 UK Migrants

Beginning April 6, 2017, those applying to go to the UK to take a jobs, along with their adult dependents, will be subject to the requirement under the Immigration Rules to produce a criminal record certificate. The certificate must be produced from any country in which they have been resident for 12 months or more, consecutively or cumulatively, in the previous 10 years, aged 18 or over. Therefore, sponsors must start informing prospective employees at the point they assign their Certificate of Sponsorship that they may become subject to this requirement by the time they make their application. This will enable them to begin seeking certificates where needed at the earliest opportunity, and to lodge a complete application for entry clearance sooner.

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North America

Canada 2

Dealing with Marijuana in the Workplace

Health Canada estimates that by 2024, 450,000 Canadians will be authorized to use medically-prescribed marijuana. Employers may face potential legal challenges from employees who say that law allows them to use marijuana away from the workplace. A review of decisions addressing dismissal for workplace usage or possession of marijuana shows an inconsistent treatment to the issue, which is early stages in terms of the law. Issues include an employee’s failure to disclose their medically–prescribed marijuana intake and violations of policies that are not yet fully established. Until decisions are made, employers should take the opportunity to review their policies and procedures relating to drugs, alcohol, and accommodation.

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South America

Chile

Chile Expected to Consider New Data Protection Legislation

Chilean legislators are soon expected to consider a new data protection law which would impose new privacy compliance standards and certain enforcement provisions on companies doing business in Chile. Chile’s existing data protection law, the Law on the Protection of Private Life (Law No. 19,628), was signed into law in 1999 and does not provide for a privacy regulator with enforcement authority. The new bill will provide for the establishment of a data protection authority. It is expected that the data protection authority would report to another government agency rather than operating entirely independently.

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United States

Employment Background Checks: In a State of Flux, but Still Worth Doing

While an important tool for employers, background checks have undergone many changes, including an increase in litigation. Many jurisdictions, including municipalities, counties and/or states, have “banned the box”, which requires employers to remove the question and check box, “Have you been convicted by a court,” from applications for employment. Today, there are more than 150 cities and counties, as well as 25 states, with some form of ban the box law or ordinance. Employers have also seen an increase in litigation involving alleged violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). It is important for employers to have their processes reviewed by counsel for compliance of new laws and regulations.

Read more

The Top 5 International Data Privacy Issues for Employers in 2017

The top five international data privacy issues for 2017 include:

  1. Preparation for the European Union (EU) Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Among other requirements, this will require employers to revise their notices and consent mechanisms.
  2. Changes to the Privacy Shield – Digital Rights Ireland (DRI) argues that the Privacy Shield fails to provide EU citizens.
  3. Decisions regarding the validity of the EU Model Contract Clauses – A determination regarding the validity of the EU Standard Contractual Clauses could be rendered by the end of the year or early 2018.
  4. Increased Enforcement of EU Data Protection Laws – Other EU jurisdictions may follow Germany’s lead to crack down on employers that transfer human resource data to the United States or other non-EU countries without a legal mechanism to do so.
  5. Compliance with Data Protection Laws of Non-EU Countries – Employers in the EU should start to broaden their data privacy compliance efforts to included countries outside of the EU.

Read more

LEGAL

Philadelphia the Latest to Restrict Employer Inquiries into Applicants' Salary History

Beginning May 23, it will be unlawful for employers in Philadelphia to inquire into an applicant’s wage history during the hiring process. “Wages” include “all earnings of an employee,” such as “fringe benefits, wage supplements, or other compensation whether payable by the employer from employer funds or from amounts withheld from the employee’s pay by the employer.” The ordinance prohibits retaliation against a prospective employee for failing to provide his or her wage history or for enforcing his or her rights under the law. Those who allege a violation of the law may file a complaint with the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations.

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Albany County Enacts Legislation Prohibiting Inquiries into Criminal Convictions for County Employment

In February, the Albany County Legislature passed legislation prohibiting Albany County from inquiring about an applicant’s criminal conviction history until after the applicant received a conditional offer of employment. The “Albany County Fair Chance Act” requires the County to post a disclaimer on job announcements and position descriptions for positions that necessitate an inquiry into the applicant’s criminal history or a background check. If the position requires screening into the criminal history of the applicant and the result leads to a revocation of the conditional offer, the County must provide the individual with an adverse action notice containing the County’s basis for the decision, as well as supporting documentation.

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Bare Statutory Violation of FCRA Fails to Satisfy Standing Requirements Post-Spokeo, Says District of New Jersey in Suit Over Michaels Employment Disclosures

The recent ruling in In re: Michaels Stores, Inc., Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) Litigation confirms the significance of the Spokeo decision and also provides FCRA defendants with additional ammunition to use in fighting statutory violation claims where damages are lacking. The suit was based upon the consolidation of three proposed class actions alleging the store failed to clearly and conspicuously announce its intent to obtain background checks in a separate document containing only that disclosure – a violation of the FCRA. The court found that there was no informational injury and there was no invasion of privacy. The decision from the District of New Jersey helps define the concrete harm requirement.

Read more

California Employers Are Subject to New Requirements
When Using Criminal History Information

The release of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) “Enforcement Guidance on the Consideration of Arrest and Conviction Records in Employment Decisions Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964” outlines best practices for employers to follow regarding criminal records. Among other things, it includes: Removing from applications the question about criminal history; recommendations about not making an employment decision based soley on the fact of an arrest record; and conducting an “individualized assessment” before rejecting an applicant or terminating an employee because of a conviction. State and local levels have followed by “banning the box,” however, more recently, the California Fair Employment & Housing Council (FEHC) issued proposed regulations that identified ways in which employers can face liability when using a candidate’s criminal history in hiring.

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California Further Limits Use of Criminal Background Information

California’s Fair Employment and Housing Council (FEHC) has finalized new regulations further limiting an employer’s ability to consider criminal history when making employment decisions. The regulations will take effect in July and follow the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC)’s 2012 Enforcement Guidance. The “Ban the Box” ordinances further restrict employers’ use of criminal records when making employment decisions. The regulations expand the list of types of criminal history to include non-felony conviction for possession of marijuana if more than two years past, as well details regarding an employer’s obligations regarding a refusal to hire based on criminal history.

Read more

Employer Commits Willful Violation of Fair Credit Reporting Act by Including Waiver in Satutorily Mandated Disclosure

In Syed v. M-I, LLC,the Ninth Circuit held that the Fair Credit and Reporting Act rights notice cannot be combined with any other notice or agreement. In determining that the violation was willful, the Court held that the “ordinary meaning of ‘solely’ is alone; singly or entirely; exclusively.” In this case, an applicant applied for a position and completed a “Pre-Employment Disclosure Release.” Soon after signing, the applicant commenced a putative class action, alleging that inclusion of the liability waiver in the same document as the disclosure statement violated FCRA.

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FCRA Suit Against Amazon Moves Forward

A judge has ruled that a Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) suit against Amazon can move forward in Florida federal court. Donovan Hargrett, who sought employment as a fulfillment associate in Florida, accused the online retailer of violating the FCRA by failing to provide two separate forms for his job application and background check authorization. The putative class action did not request actual damages but sought an award of statutory damages for Amazon’s willful FCRA violation. The case was consolidated with a similar action filed by two other applicants.

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Federal Appeals Court Concludes that Employer Violates Fair Credit Reporting Act by Including Liability Waiver in Mandated Disclosure

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently ruled in Syed v. M-I, LLC that a prospective employer violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) when it obtained a job applicant’s consumer report after including a liability waiver in the required disclosure document. Although the prospective employer in this case provided the mandated disclosures, it incorporated into the same document an agreement that the applicant waive his right to sue M-I and its agents for violation of the FCRA. The class action was filed, seeking statutory damages, punitive damages, and attorney’s fees and costs. Pursuant to his decision, companies must ensure that their FCRA-required disclosures do not contain a liability waiver.

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New Child Care Background Check Bill Leaves More Questions Than Answers

Assembly Bill 2036 imposes additional restrictions on businesses providing online childcare job posting services in California and on background screening companies providing background checks to those businesses. The Bill amends existing law by imposing new duties on businesses that offer child care services via online job-posting. This includes inclusion of a written description of the background check provided by the background screener on the websites of businesses that list child care providers. For information on required description details, as well as liability risks and resulting penalties:

Read more.

New FCRA Class Action Against UPS Shows Traditional FCRA Claims Alive and Well

Employers have been struggling to understand their responsibilities under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) as plaintiffs change their focus from traditional background check compliance to targeting employers’ use of social media accounts and internet search engines. In one case, the plaintiffs alleged that an employer’s use of LinkedIn violates the FCRA. But, though the use of technology and social media is on the rise, a claim against UPS reminds employers to maintain continued vigilance against traditional FCRA claims. The company allegedly revoked a candidate’s offer due to information revealed in the background check report, without telling him what the information was or giving him an opportunity to discuss the information.

Read more

New Los Angeles Regulations Provide Clarity on Ban-the-Box Directives

A recent Rules and Regulations publication released by the Los Angeles Department of Public Works Bureau of Contract Administration will assist employers in Los Angeles with implementing the Los Angeles Fair Chance Initiative for Hiring Ordinance (Fair Chair Ordinance). The Ordinance prohibits employers and city contractors and subcontractors that are physically operating within the city of Los Angeles from seeking a job applicant’s criminal history until after a conditional offer of employment is made. The Ordinance helps by defining key words; offering notice and posting requirements; detailing application and interview procedures; identifying how to engage in the Fair Chance process; and describing the record-keeping process.

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Ninth Circuit: "Solely" Means "Solely" When it Comes to FCRA-Mandated Disclosures

The Ninth Circuit recently tackled the meaning of the word “solely” in considering the legality of an employer’s inclusion of a prospective waiver as part of the Fair Credit Reporting Act-mandated disclosures. In Syed v. M-I, LLC, the Ninth Circuit found that the not uncommon practice of obtaining consumer reports about applicants or employees constitutes a willful violation of the FCRA as a matter of law. In addition, those disclosures must be made “in a document that consists ‘solely’ of the disclosure.” Employers should review their FCRA disclosure and authorization forms to ensure they do not contain liability waivers or any other information not specifically authorized by the FCRA.

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Ohio State and Federal Courts Find No Standing to Assert Technical Violations of the FCRA's Background Check Disclosure Requirement

Ohio courts have recently weighed in on the issue related to the procurement of background checks on current or prospective employees -- more specifically, whether employees have the standing to sue employers in cases where the employer fails to provide a “stand-alone” disclosure that meets the requirements of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). The majority of courts, including Ohio, have found that a technical deficiency is insufficient to confer standing. Courts, however, appear more likely to find a potential cognizable injury sufficient to defeat a motion to dismiss where the plaintiff alleges that no disclosure was provided and no authorization sought from the employee before the background check is procured.

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Los Angeles Ban the Box - New Individualized Assessment and Reassessment Form

The City of Los Angeles recently issued its Rules and Regulations implementing the Fair Chance Initiative for Hiring (Ban the Box) Ordinance, providing critical guidance to employers on compliance with the new ban the box ordinance. The city’s Bureau of Contract Administration posted a “Fair Chance Initiative for Hiring Ordinance (FCIHO) Individualized Assessment and Reassessment Form.” This form contains information about the application and interview procedure; employer assessment of criminal history; the “Fair Chance Process”; notice and posting requirements; maintenance of records; exceptions to the rule; and best practices. First and foremost, employers in the City of Los Angeles should review their employment advertisements and applications, and remove inquiries into criminal history or add the suggested disclaimer.

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DRUG SCREENING

Florida Employers? Here Comes Medical Marijuana - Are You Ready?

Floridians voted to pass Amendment 2 to legalize marijuana, a change that will expand what has been a very narrow right in the state to be treated with low dose THC cannabis. Under the new amendment, a “qualified patient” is permitted to use or handle medical marijuana. Accepted conditions include cancer, HIV, AIDS, ALS and multiple sclerosis, among others. The amendment also allows doctors to prescribe the use of marijuana to treat other debilitating medical conditions. Because the drug is still illegal under the federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA), a physician must provide certification for a “qualified patient,” which can then be taken to a Medical Marijuana Treatment Center. The amendment does not require employers to allow use of the drug and may require a drug test when an employee is in an accident at work.

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