New Mexico Bans the Box

Effective mid-June 2019, New Mexico employers are prohibited from inquiring about a job applicant’s arrest or conviction history on an initial employment application (written or electronic).  Employers may still ask about a job applicant’s criminal record in the interview process. The law does not prohibit employers from notifying the public or an applicant that the law or an employer’s policy could disqualify an applicant who has a certain criminal history from employment.

Full text of the New Mexico Law.

For more information about Ban the Box and whether it affects your state, please visit our Resource Library.

Massachusetts Courts Closed Monday, April 15; DC Courts Closed Tuesday, April 16

Courts in Massachusetts will be closed today, Monday, April 15, 2019 for Patriots’ Day. Courts in Washington, D.C.  will be closed tomorrow Tuesday, April 16 for Emancipation Day. Additionally, courts in Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania will be closed on Friday, April 19 for Good Friday.

Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns about these closures or background screening services in general.

Background Screening Solves 20 Year Old Cold Case

Detectives in Florida worked for years trying to capture Sondra Better’s killer.  Despite the blood, fingerprints, and DNA he left behind, he seemed to disappear.  That was until Todd Barket, 51, applied for a job a few months ago that required a background check and fingerprints.  His prints matched those the police submitted to a national database back in 1998, after the murder.  Barket has since been arrested and now faces first degree murder charges.

This is yet another reminder of the many benefits of background screening.  Not only does it help protect employers, employees, and workplaces, but it may, as in this instance, bring painful, but needed closure to people who have been looking for answers for a very long time.

 

Click here to read the full story.

 

Contact us if you have any questions or need help with your background screening program.

New Jersey Becomes Sixth State to Rule in Favor of Medical Marijuana Employee

The New Jersey Appellate Division recently held that an employee could bring a cause of action against an employer under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD) when he or she uses medical marijuana and is not attempting to use it at the workplace.  The court found that this is not in conflict with the state’s Compassionate Use Act mandate that employers do not need to accommodate medical marijuana users in the workplace.  Wild v. Carriage Funeral Holdings, Inc.

The court looked at the legislative intent and found that while there was no intent to expand employee’s rights, there was also no intent to destroy any rights already available under the LAD.  In this case, the employee was not seeking to use marijuana at work.  Rather, he sought for his employer to accommodate his legal use of medical marijuana outside of his job.

New Jersey employers should revisit their drug free work policies and ensure they are in compliance with the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, as well as the Compassionate Use Act.

There are now six states (Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Delaware, Arizona, and New Jersey) that have specifically ruled in favor of the employee, alleging discrimination based on medical marijuana use.  With additional states regularly passing new marijuana laws, there is no doubt more challenges will be brought.  Employers should be very familiar not only with their own state’s laws regarding marijuana, but also about any cases brought under them and use that information when reviewing their policies and procedures.

 

For more information about marijuana laws in your state, please visit our Resource Library

College Admissions Scam Brings Background Checks on Student Athletes to Stanford University

Stanford President Marc Tessier-Lavigne and Provost Persis Drell recently made an announcement that the University will now conduct reviews and verification’s on student athletes recommended by coaches to confirm their athletic credentials.  In the aftermath of the college admissions scam, a new protocol is in place where a “member of the executive leadership of the Athletics Department will be responsible for each of Stanford’s 36 varsity men’s and women’s sports and will review and confirm the athletic credentials of all recruits who are proposed by a coach to receive an athletic recommendation.  This will provide a second, higher-level verification of the athletic credentials of recruited student-athletes before that information is shared with the admission office, to be considered as one factor in a comprehensive review of each student’s qualifications for Stanford admission.”

 

Click here for more information.

 

Verifying credentials is an important aspect of background screening. Contact us if you have any questions or need help with your credentialing process or to review your screening program.