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Verifile Newsletter Issue #29

04 Apr 2018



April 2018  /  Issue #29

+44 (0) 1234 339 350 / /


Welcome to our April 2018 newsletter designed to help you stay up to date.


Verifile news.

Verifile Software Update

As we continue to improve the users’ experience within the platform, we have just released one of the most significant updates to our system. The update provides improved page loading times, further clarity when placing UK criminal record checks, and several internal system updates to improve the quality and accuracy of the data we provide you. If you would like to know more about the system improvements we are continuing to make, or suggest ideas of your own, please speak to your account manager or contact us at

Verifile Candidate Support Tool

We recently announced our new candidate support tool and already this interactive tool is proving to be of benefit to many candidates. We would welcome any comments you have been receiving from your candidates on this tool or any suggestions you may have. If you haven’t had a chance to see it in action, please take a look at our quick demonstration which can be accessed here.

Sport Relief Fund Raising

​The Verifile team has been busy cycling from Bedford to the Peak District in aid of Sport Relief. If you would like to support us in raising funds for this worthy cause, please follow this link Verifile's story.​

Verifile product changes

Please find below an update for the checks that have had a change of process, requirements or forms. If you would like us to send you the current documentation for any of the listed checks please contact us by emailing

UK Criminal Basic England and Wales Results

​Verifile has been working with the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) to understand why some basic checks have been taking longer than expected. We have identified an issue which is affecting the provision of a very small number of basic check results. Results are not being communicated to Verifile, so those checks appear to be processing. Verifile has identified all affected orders and is urgently working to ensure results are received and are available to our clients as quickly as possible.

Identity Checks for England and Wales DBS Checks

​We would like to remind clients ordering England and Wales criminal checks (basic, standard and enhanced) that when confirming the candidates’ identity on our platform, you are confirming that you have undertaken the identity check according to the DBS Code of Practice, which includes:

  1. Meeting the candidate in person (face to face)
  2. Seeing the candidate’s original identity documents (not just photocopies)
  3. Checking that the appearance of the candidate matches their date of birth and the photograph on the documents
  4. Checking that the documents appear to be genuine with no signs of tampering
  5. Checking that personal details on the documents match those entered by the candidate on the Verifile screening form (please call us if you notice any differences)

These responsibilities can be split. For example, the line manager may carry out steps 1 to 4 in the presence of the candidate, and HR may carry out step 5. However, if splitting, please ensure that HR have copies of the identity documents in order to carry out step 5 correctly.

If the identification check isn’t carried out correctly, then there is potential for results to be invalid. Please note that sole responsibility does rest with your organisation to undertake the identification check correctly.

Following the advanced notice in our last newsletter, the list of approved identity documents for criminal record checks (Standard and Enhanced) in England & Wales has now been updated. This change was required by the Disclosure and Barring Service, which is the organisation that searches for convictions and relevant information on the Police National Computer and issues these certificates.

The new list of identity documents is now presented to candidates to choose from on the Verifile platform. To assist you in completing the face to face identity check, we have created an Identity Check Guide that can be found in the Help Guides section after Verifile log in.

UK Criminal Checks in Northern Ireland via AccessNI

​AccessNI, the government agency issuing criminal certificates for Northern Ireland, are modernising their IT system over the next 2-3 months. They have given us advance notice that all signatories will be required to create new log-ins and passwords for their NI Direct account. We will provide more information on how this process will work as soon as we receive further details from AccessNI.

Kenya Criminal

​A change in requirements means that two copies of certain documents and an extra application letter are now needed.

Russia Criminal

​New Power of Attorney document options are now possible following feedback from candidates.

Belgium Criminal

​Individuals with a current official registered address in Belgium are now required to obtain criminal check certificates from their local municipality. We can still process these checks on individuals who reside outside Belgium and who have informed the local authorities that they no longer have a registered address in Belgium.​

Ghana Criminal

​This service is now available only for residents of Ghana

International news

Below are a selection of international headlines, click the buttons to view the stories in full for your region.​



Read more​

DLA Piper's Data Protection Laws of the World Compare Data Protection Laws Around the World​

Asia Pacific​

Asia Pacific​

Read more​

Asian Businesses Anticipate Hiring Spree in 2018​​


Read more​

Australia's Forthcoming Mandatory Data Breach Notification: Why Legal and IT Departments Need to Collaborate More Closely​​​


Read more​

Blacklist Introduced for Operating Business in China Without License​​​

China Releases National Standard on Personal Information Security​​​

China's New Data Protection Standard: What You Need to Know


Read more​

India Big Data, Machine Learning, AI to Shape Job Market in 2018​​​

Hiring to Pick Up Speed in 2018: Reports​​​


Read more​

Malaysian Employer Caned for Hiring Illegal Workers​​​


Read more​

Singapore PDPC Issues Reponse to Public Feedback Regarding Data Protection Consultation​​​

Singapore Tops Asia-Pacific Talent Ranking​​​


Europe​an Union

Read more​

Firms Breed Misconceptions and Confusion Surrounding the GDPR​​

How to Meet the Gold Standard for Data Privacy Tap into the Opportunities the GDPR Brings​​

Identifying Legal Grounds for Processing HR Data​​

Practical Tips for Consent under the GDPR​​

European Commission Launches GDPR Implementation Guidance WEbsite

Four Months Until the GDPR: Which EU Countries Have Already Implemented Local GDPR Laws?  Is there Anything Relevant in These Laws?​​


Read more​

Belgium Adopts Law Reforming the Belgian Privacy Commission​


Read more​

CNIL New Security Guidelines​

Draft Data Protection Law One Step Closer to a Final Version​


Read more​

Legitimate Interest Gets Complicated​


Read more​

Poland's Proposed GDPR Exemptions Spark Outrage​


Read more​

Personal Data Protection Draft Act​

United Kingdom

Read more​

Employers are "Sleepwalking into GDPR Abyss", Report Warns​

Lying Candidate Won $104,000 Salary - and a Conviction​

The Pitfalls of Employee Immigration Status​

UK Managers Deliver Gloomy Economic Outlook for 2018​

What HR Departments Need to Know about the GDPR​ 

North America​


Read more​

Canada Business Boom: 10,000 Jobs Created in January​

Alberta Court of Appeal Confirms and Clarifies Requirements for Random Drug Testing​

Weed in the Workplace a Primer for Employer Action​​

United States

Read more​

Salary History Question Off Limits on Job Applications:  What Should Employers do to Stay Compliant?​

Jury Awards Nearly $70.6 Million in Yacht Rape Case​

Does Your State Ban the Box with Job Applications?  What You Need to Know​

EEOC's Background Check Guidance Suffers Loss in Texas Federal Court​

Kansas City, Missouri, Enacts Ban-the-Box-Plus Ordinance​

Maine Employers Must Ignore Off-Work Marijuana Use, Cease Testing Applicants​ 




DLA Piper's Data Protection Laws of the World Compare
Data Protection Laws Around the World​

More than ever it is crucial that organizations manage and safeguard personal information and address their risks and legal responsibilities in relation to processing personal data, to address growing applicable data protection legislation. DLA Piper’s Data Protection, Privacy & Security group presents the Data Protection Laws of the World Handbook. The Handbook sets out an overview of the key privacy and data protection laws and regulations across nearly 100 different jurisdictions and offers a primer to businesses as they consider this complex and increasingly key area of compliance.

Read more


Asia Pacific


Asian Businesses Anticipate Hiring Spree in 2018

Half of employers across Hong Kong, Singapore, and China expect to hire staff in 2018, according to Links International’s Asia Salary Snapshot. Employers reported greater use of overtime – 33 percent saw it increase last year, compared to 27 percent a year earlier – and were more likely to make use of flexible staffing methods, including part-time work, job sharing and contractors. Regarding pay, China led the market in 2017, with 60 percent of all employees receiving a salary increase of more than 3 percent. According to the survey, in Hong Kong, multinational companies’ focus on building a strong employee value proposition has driven demand for strategic HR thinking, with HR analytics skills in strong demand.

Read more


Australia's Forthcoming Mandatory Data Breach
Notification: Why Legal and IT Departments Need to Collaborate More Closely​

Most organizations understand that cybersecurity isn’t just an IT risk, but rather a business and legal risk, given the vulnerabilities and potential impact. The impact and visibility are about to be greater due to mandatory data breach notification, according to Palo Alto Networks. A recent report, The State of Cybersecurity in Asia Pacific, showed that Australian organizations are likely to embrace mandatory breach reporting requirements. The report revealed that 79 percent of IT decision-makers agreed that reporting breaches to regulators should be mandatory, and 69 percent believe reporting of data breaches to regulators will help prevent cybercrime. It also noted that voluntarily sharing cyberthreat information, among and between the private and public sectors, is a key tool to understanding and protecting against threats.

Read more


Blacklist Introduced for Operating Business in China Without License

Foreign companies intending to hire workers and operate in China without registering a legal entity may be put on a blacklist that is being set up by the Chinese government. This could also apply to companies that have set up an entity in one location but have personnel operating in another location in China. The Measure for Investigating and Punishing Unlicensed Business Operations, which went into effect in October 2017, replaces existing regulations that prohibit operating business without an official license. A few exceptions apply, such as participating in a flea market, doing odd jobs as a handyman or other activities expressly permitted under local regulations. The blacklist will be published, and may even attract attention of other government authorities, such as tax and labor authorities.

Read more

China Releases National Standard on Personal Information Security

The Standardization Administration of China has published the Information Security Technology – Personal Information Security Specification that goes into effect on May 1, 2018. The Specification is voluntary and establishes benchmarks for the processing of personal information by entities and organizations. It constitutes a best practice guide for the collection, retention, use, sharing and transfer of personal information, and for the handling of information security incidents. The Specification requires entities to clarify which of their departments and staff would be responsible for the protection of personal information, and to establish a system to evaluate impacts on the security of that personal information.  

Read more

China's New Data Protection Standard: What You Need to

China’s new National Standards on Information Security Technology – Personal Information Security Specification GB/T 35273-2017, has been released. Some of the highlights of the new PI Specification are clarification of key definitions and typical examples of key terms; how explicit consent is required for the collection of sensitive personal information or use of personal information for a new purpose; how personal information security impact assessments are required for; why a request for access to, correction of, copies and deletion of personal information, and withdrawal of consent, must be responded to within 30 days; why personal information of children under 14 years of age is considered sensitive information; and more.

Read more


India Big Data, Machine Learning, AI to Shape Job Market in 2018

The year 2018 will see a sharp increase in demand for professionals with skills in emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning, while people with capabilities in Big Data and Analytics will continue to be the most sought after by companies. The Indian IT industry is expected to add 180,000 to 200,000 new jobs in 2018. AI alone will create 2.3 million jobs globally by 2020, said Alka Dhingra, General Manager, IT staffing, TeamLease Services. Other jobs that are expected to increase in hiring include Blockchain specialists, digital marketing, and data scientists.

Read more

Hiring to Pick Up Speed in 2018: Reports

After a turbulent 2017, the job market in India is set to grow at a healthy pace in 2018. A ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey says that most sectors will add jobs in 2018, including construction (+20 percent); real estate, manufacturing and mining (+19 percent); and finance and insurance (+15 percent). Profession wise, the accounting and tax sector (19 percent), legal and law sector (12 percent), doctors and medical professionals (6 percent), human resources (5 percent) and business management, consultants and freelancers (5 percent) have witnessed a talent increase. Regionally, Lucknow (13 percent), Chandigarh (11 percent), and Ahmedabad (5 percent) were some of the top cities that have witnessed a surge in talent demand. 

Read more


Malaysian Employer Caned for Hiring Illegal Workers

An errant Malaysian employer has been sentenced to one stroke of the cane for hiring illegal workers in the state of Selangor. Although the law permits such severe penalties, the milestone decision has never been performed in the state before, said Immigration Department of Malaysia’s director-general Datuk Seri Mustafar Ali. In addition to the caning, the employer – a bakery owner – will serve six months in jail. He was found guilty of employing 15 illegal immigrants. In 2017, Malaysia’s Immigration Department carried out checks on 188,884 employers as part of nationwide operations to curb the practice, which resulted in 1,257 arrests.

Read more


Singapore PDPC Issues Reponse to Public Feedback Regarding Data Protection Consultation

The Singapore Personal Data Protection Commission has published its response to feedback collected during a public consultation process related to alternatives for collecting, using and disclosing personal data; in addition to a mandatory data breach notification requirement. The PDPC said it intends to amend its consent framework to incorporate the “Notification of Purpose” approach, where organizations may collect, use and disclose personal data merely by providing a form of appropriate notice and a mechanism to opt out. Regarding the breach notification requirement, the PDPC stated that the time frame for the breach notification obligation commences after an affected organization first becomes aware that an information security incident occurred, and then it has 72 hours to report the incident to the affected individuals and the PDPC.

Read more

Singapore Tops Asia-Pacific Talent Ranking

Switzerland leads the way in terms of talent competitiveness, according to the 2018 Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI) report. The report found that Singapore ranks as the most talent-competitive nation in the APAC region. Japan is the only other Asian country in the top 25, at 20th place. In general, European countries continue to dominate the GTCI rankings, with 15 in the top 25. The index assesses the policies and practices that enable a country to attract, develop and retain technical and global knowledge skills associated with innovation, entrepreneurship and leadership. This year’s edition revealed that the top 10 countries share one major feature: they all have a well-developed educational system that provides the social and collaboration skills needed for employability in today’s labor market.

Read more 


European Union

Firms Breed Misconceptions and Confusion Surrounding the GDPR

David A. Zetoony of the law firm Bryan Cave LLP offers five real-life examples of misstatements that some of its clients has received from a company advertising services to help prepare for the GDPR, including directors are required to certify compliance with GDPR; data subjects are always required to provide their consent to processing; boards of directors are subject to “criminal prosecution”; boards of directors are personally liable for violations of the GDPR; and how the scope of the GDPR is not based, triggered, or bound by the citizenship of a person.

Read more

How to Meet the Gold Standard for Data Privacy Tap into the Opportunities the GDPR Brings

How do you ensure that customer data is not only secure, but also that privacy is safeguarded across the spectrum of your organization? How do you make privacy not just part of the design of new services, but the default status of all customer information? How do you give customers access to, and control over, their data? A new white paper is available to not only help confirm data privacy and control, but also improve security, while allowing organizations to tap into the opportunities that the GDPR brings as part of a smart data management strategy.

Read more

Identifying Legal Grounds for Processing HR Data

Matthew Holman, Principal at EMW LAW, explains how under the GDPR, any company that extrapolates data will need to identify legal grounds for processing that data, specifically HR departments that often hold sensitive data. Holman explains how the requirements for processing of sensitive personal data, relating to race, sex, disability, age, religion/belief and more, are issues that HR teams will need to be especially careful. He also addresses employee recruitment, noting that “If you post adverts and a candidate comes to you, then they are declaring an interest. However, if you want to communicate to someone/headhunt them, you need their consent first. It’s advisable to have a mechanism in place which makes it extremely clear to the consumer that they know exactly what they’re opting in to.”

Read more

Practical Tips for Consent under the GDPR

Andrew Clearwater, CIPP/US and Brian Philbrook, CIPP/E, CIPP/US, CIPM, CIPT of OneTrust offer practical tips to data controllers for meeting the GDPR’s consent requirements, and how to put consent management into practice. They offer advice on identifying processing activities; assessing whether consent is the most appropriate legal basis; how to formulate consent requests; and how to ensure that consent requests are kept separate from other terms and conditions, specifically that technical and legal jargon is avoided, that the request is prominent and clearly visible to the data subject and is user-friendly; and more.

Read more

European Commission Launches GDPR Implementation Guidance Website

The European Commission has launched a new website that will offer guidance on requirements and implementation regarding European Union (EU) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The toolkit features basic background information on the GDPR; a detailed page setting forth rules for businesses and organizations; a user-friendly section focused on helping small- to midsize-enterprises get their GDPR houses in order; information for EU data subjects; and a variety of fact sheets for businesses and individuals.

Read more

Four Months Until the GDPR: Which EU Countries Have Already Implemented Local GDPR Laws? Is there Anything Relevant in These Laws?

Although the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is on track to become effective May 25, 2018, the law will not be harmonized completely. The GDPR comprises more than 70 opening clauses, leaving room for European Union (EU) Member States’ legislators to implement rules. These opening clauses cover a wide variety of aspects relating to data protection, including that Member States may implement local rules on important issues like the requirements for the designation of a data protection officer. 

Read more


Belgium Adopts Law Reforming the Belgian Privacy

The Belgium Parliament has passed legislation to create a Data Protection Authority to ensure that the DPA can fulfill its tasks under the GDPR. The Law changes the structure and composition of the current Belgian Privacy Commission and replaces the existing sector committees with six new ones, including an Executive Committee that approves the DPA’s annual budget and strategy and management plan; a General Secretariat responsible for the daily operations of the DPA; a First Line Service for receiving complaints and requests made to the DPA; a Knowledge Centre for questions related to data processing; an Investigation Service; a Litigation Chamber; and a Reflection Board for non-binding advice.

Read more


CNIL New Security Guidelines

The French data protection authority has published new guidelines on the security of personal data, with practical recommendations to help businesses implement appropriate measures to protect personal data in compliance with the GDPR. Although the GDPR provides some guidance, the CNIL acknowledges that determination may be difficult for businesses that are unfamiliar with risk management methods in terms of data processing. The CNIL’s recommendations are organized in 17 themes to advise organizations on how to comply and document their security obligations, but also as a practical tool for conducting privacy impact assessments.

Read more 

Draft Data Protection Law One Step Closer to a Final Version

The French National Assembly has adopted a draft law to ensure compliance with the GDPR. The draft law includes amendments such as the consent age of 15 years for the processing of personal data of children; a new right to information in criminal matters; and the new right to claim damages in a data protection class action lawsuit. If the legislation is adopted by the Parliament, class action litigants would be entitled to compensation for material and moral losses. Amendments that were rejected include the creation of a moral right on personal data, in addition to one that called for delaying GDPR compliance for three years. It was rejected as the GDPR has already given organizations a two-year lead period for compliance.

Read more


Legitimate Interest Gets Complicated

Privacy legitimate interest might become difficult to manage in Italy following provisions introduced in the country’s Budget Law. The Budget Law provides that data controllers who process personal data through automated means or “new technologies” on the basis of legitimate interest need to notify and receive approval from the Italian data protection authority. Yet, since the provision applies to data processing activities based on legitimate interest and performed through automated means and new technologies, this may introduce confusion, and may force some companies to introduce new versions of their privacy information notice to ensure complete compliance with the GDPR.

Read more


Poland's Proposed GDPR Exemptions Spark Outrage

The Polish government is considering exempting small- and medium-sized businesses from having to comply with key requirements of the incoming GDPR, causing alarm among privacy advocates, members of the European Parliament and the country’s data protection authority. The requirements that would be exempted for companies employing fewer than 250 people would include an obligation to tell people how long their data will be stored for and what their rights are regarding objections to processing, demands for rectification and deletion, access to their data, data portability, and the right to complain to the Polish DPA. 

Read more


Personal Data Protection Draft Act

Spain’s Council of Ministers has passed the Personal Data Protection Draft Act (Draft) for conformance to the GDPR. The Spanish state respects and reproduces in this draft the text of the GDPR, introducing some specifications on several aspects, to include the age for consent is lowered to 13 years old; consent is excluded as the sole basis for making especially-protected data processing legitimate; specific regulations for personal data processing; and specifics law infringements, in particular, with very grave infringements, fines could total up to 4 percent of a company’s total worldwide annual turnover.

Read more

United Kingdom

Employers are "Sleepwalking into GDPR Abyss", Report Warns 

Organizations are “sleepwalking towards a GDPR abyss”, a new report has warned, with 60 percent of companies saying they are unprepared for the EU’s GDPR with less than four months until implementation.  The report from software technology firm Senzing said that 60 percent of UK organizations were not yet “GDPR ready”, while 24 percent were deemed “GDPR at risk”. According to the report, companies could be forced to spend eight hours a day, or 172 hours a month, on data searches after the implementation of the GDPR, with 39 percent of UK-based directors saying they were concerned about their ability to be compliant. More than one in 10 of UK companies said they were not confident they knew where their data was housed, while 12 percent reported that they had not accounted for all databases. 

Read more

Lying Candidate Won $104,000 Salary - and a Conviction

A job candidate was convicted of fraud after claiming on his resume that he had performed more than 50 specialist surgeries. He was named specialist colorectal surgeon at Alexandra Hospital in Redditch, yet only had performed six surgeries. Sudip Sarker denied lying to get the role, saying he had taken a ‘guesstimate’ at how many procedures he had performed. He was suspended after it became clear he could not fulfill the job specifications. For hiring managers, the dangers of taking on candidates who are found unsuitable for the position, or have lies on their resume, can be damaging for a business.

Read more

The Pitfalls of Employee Immigration Status 

What can employers do if they discover a staff member’s status is not what it appears? And if they do decide to dismiss an employee, to what extent may they become exposed to the possibility of an unfair dismissal claim? In the case of Baker v Abellio London Limited, the employee was employed for three years when his employer requested documents for proof of his right to work in the UK. He challenged under the Immigration Act of 1971. Employers who wish to terminate the contract of employment of an employee without satisfactory evidence of their right to work in the UK should be prepared to defend a potential unfair dismissal claim based on either illegality or alternative grounds. 

Read more

UK Managers Deliver Gloomy Economic Outlook for 2018

Only 28 percent of UK managers expect the economy to grow, according to a survey of 1,037 managers surveyed by the Chartered Management Institute. Optimism is the lowest in four years and down from 63 percent in 2014. The survey also found only 62 percent of managers saw no growth during the past 12 months, and 75 percent said their businesses will focus on controlling costs over investing in growth in 2018. In addition, 78 percent said they are struggling to hire skilled workers. “The decline in managers’ optimism in the UK economy for 2018 is unsurprising given Brexit uncertainties,” said Petra Wilton, director of strategy and external affairs at the CMI. “We need to rebuild confidence and nurture growth through investing in people.”

Read more

What HR Departments Need to Know about the GDPR 

Sybille Steiner, an employment partner at Irwin Mitchell, offers advice on how employers must comply with the GDPR. She addresses subject access request (SARs), which are often used as leverage in employment disputes. She notes how the GDPR will enhance employees’ rights to access personal data held by their employers, will entitle them to more detailed information regarding the way in which their data is processed, will reduce the time limits for the employer’s response, and will abolish a current fee for responding to a SAR. Employers are obliged to comply with a SAR within 40 days of the request, and the GDPR oblige employers to comply faster. Appropriate training and guidance should be in place to ensure that staff can respond to SARs quickly and efficiently.

Read more


North America


Canada Business Boom: 10,000 Jobs Created in January

More than 10,686 new jobs were created in Canada in January, according to the ADP Canada National Employment Report. “Hiring in Canada is off to a good start,” said Ahu Yildirmaz, vice president and co-head of ADP Research Institute, which produced the report. Jobs in the goods-producing side were all gainers, with construction seeing the highest increase at 8,200 from the previous month. Natural resources and mining saw 2,800 new jobs, and 1,500 were added to the manufacturing sector. Results from service providers were mixed, with leisure and hospitality and other services (including public administration) leading at 6,300 each. Educational services and finance/real estate showed significant decreases of 8,100 and 7,000, respectively.

Read more

Alberta Court of Appeal Confirms and Clarifies Requirements for Random Drug Testing

The Alberta Court of Appeal unanimously upheld a judicial review decision rejecting the majority decision of an arbitration panel which had found Suncor Energy Inc.’s random drug and alcohol testing policy to be unenforceable. The appeal decision was focused on the fact that limited evidence was considered at arbitration, while evidence of substance abuse issues in the workplace outside the bargaining unit was not. In 2012, the business implemented random drug and alcohol testing for workers in safety-sensitive positions. Unifor, Local 707A grieved the policy on the basis that it infringed the privacy rights of workers.

Read more

Weed in the Workplace a Primer for Employer Action

With marijuana being legalized for medicinal use in Canada, it is expected its recreational use is soon to follow. Employers should take a proactive approach in dealing with this changing landscape by becoming familiar with laws and regulations surrounding the legalization. Marijuana is listed as a controlled substance under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act and its medicinal use is regulated under the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations. The use of reasonable workplacepolicies is crucial to setting in stone what is and is not acceptable concerning medicinal marijuana use and possession in the workplace and at workplace social events. Employers also should consider using workplace policies to address the use of recreational marijuana.

Read more

United States

Salary History Question Off Limits on Job Applications: What Should Employers Do to Stay Compliant?

California recently joined a growing number of cities and states to pass a law that bans salary history questions. Prompted by concerns about gender- and race-based wage discrimination, the law is designed to prevent employers from using past compensation as a basis for current salary and benefits negotiations with job applicants. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), 7,050 equal pay discrimination charges were filed against employers over a six-year time span. Employers can ensure compliance by removing all questions relating to salary history from job applications; revising screening and interviewing methods; and training hiring managers to ask the right questions.

Read more

Jury Awards Nearly $70.6 Million in Yacht Rape Case

A stewardess on board the Endless Summer yacht, docked at Universal Marine Center in Fort Lauderdale in 2015, was awarded nearly $70.6 million in damages after she sued the yacht’s owner following an incident involving the yacht’s deckhand. Rafael Dowgwillowicz-Nowicki was arrested and charged with four counts of sexual battery after the woman reported he entered her cabin drunk and forced her to have sex with him, threatening to kill her if she did not go along with it. The lawsuit alleged that the yacht’s owner failed to provide proper security for the victim.

Read more

Does Your State Ban the Box with Job Applications? What You Need to Know

As of September, more than 150 cities and counties and 29 states have adopted laws that limit what employers can ask job applicants. The “ban the box” legislation is designed to give individuals with a criminal history a fair chance at employment. The law, however, goes beyond requiring employers to remove a check box from application forms. It is important for businesses to become familiar with state and local laws, implement an attorney-approved, state-specific job application and modify hiring procedures to delay any criminal history inquiries until legally allowed.

Read more

EEOC’s Background Check Guidance Suffers Loss in Texas Federal Court

In early February, a federal judge enjoined the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and U.S. Attorney General from enforcing against the State of Texas the EEOC’s 2012 Enforcement Guidance on the Consideration of Arrest and Conviction Records in Employment Decisions Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (the “Guidance.”) The summary judgment was granted for the State of Texas on the basis of the EEOC’s issuance of the Guidance without providing notice to the public and an opportunity to comment, as required under the Administrative Procedures Act (APA). The EEOC continues to press lawsuits against employers concerning the use of criminal records for hiring and other employment purposes.

Read more

Kansas City, Missouri, Enacts Ban-the-Box-Plus Ordinance

In early February, the Kansas City, Missouri City Council passed restrictions on employers’ inquiries into, and use of, criminal record information. Effective June 9, 2018, employers may not inquire about an applicant’s criminal history until after it has been determined that the individual is otherwise qualified for the position, and only after the applicant has been interviewed for the position. Before the effective date, employers are advised to revise job applications, interview guidelines and policies; review and make necessary changes to the sequence and timing of asking about an applicant’s criminal history; and implement guidelines and documentation that comply with the new Ordinance.

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Maine Employers Must Ignore Off-Work Marijuana Use, Cease Testing Applicants

This month, Maine has become the first jurisdiction in the nation to protect workers from adverse employment action based on their use of marijuana and marijuana products. The “Question 1 – An Act to Legalize Marijuana” (The Act) was approved in November by Maine voters, which would permit the recreational use, retail sale and taxation of marijuana. The anti-discrimination provisions of the Act prohibit employers from refusing to employ or otherwise penalizing any person age 21 or older based on that person’s “consuming marijuana outside … the employer’s … property.” The Act does, however, allow employers to prohibit the use and possession of marijuana and marijuana products “in the workplace” and to “discipline employees who are under the influence of marijuana in the workplace.”

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