Salary History Ban Becomes Law in New York State

Effective January 6, 2020:  Employers in New York are prohibited from inquiring into or relying upon the salary history of an applicant or employee in determining whether to offer a job and in setting that person’s salary.  Employers are also prohibited from retaliating against applicants or employees who refuse to disclose salary history information.

This decision follows in the footsteps of New York City, Suffolk County, and Westchester County, all of whom already passed their own salary history bans.  Unlike New York City’s law though, New York State’s law applies not only to job applicants.  Rather, it also applies to current employees who are seeking internal transfers or promotions.

Nothing in the law prohibits an applicant or employee from voluntarily and “without prompting” disclosing salary history.  Additionally, if an applicant or current employee chooses to disclose such information to try to negotiate a higher offer, an employer may then confirm that wage or salary history.

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For more information about the growing trend of salary history bans, please visit our Resource Library.

Next Up for Salary History Ban: Toledo, Ohio

Effective June 25, 2020:  Employers with 15 or more employees in the city of Toledo, Ohio are prohibited from inquiring about or using an applicant’s salary history:

  • to screen job applicants,
  • in deciding whether to offer employment, or
  • in determining salary, benefits, or other compensation during the hiring process.

 

Employers are also prohibited from refusing to hire or otherwise retaliate against an applicant for failing to disclose his or her salary history.  Additionally, upon request, employers must make the applicable pay scale available to applicants who have received conditional offers of employment.

The law does not apply to applicants for internal transfers or promotions within a company, or to positions for which salary, benefits, or other compensation are governed by a collective bargaining agreement.

 

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For more information about the growing trend of salary history bans, please visit our Resource Library.

 

Pennsylvania Starts Sealing 30 Million Criminal Records as Part of Clean Slate Act

Last year, Pennsylvania became the first state in the country to pass a Clean Slate Law, automatically sealing certain criminal records via technology.  On Friday, June 28th, the law went into effect and the process of sealing records officially began.  Courts have until June 27, 2020 to seal more than 30 million records automatically, without the filing of any petitions to do so.

Not all criminal records will be sealed.  The Clean Slate Law does not allow for the sealing of more serious crimes, such as firearms charges, sex assaults, homicide, child endangerment, and other violent offenses.  The records that will be automatically sealed include:

  • charges that were dropped;
  • where individuals were found not guilty;
  • summary offenses and second or third-degree (nonviolent) misdemeanors that resulted in a sentence of less than two years (most retail thefts and 1st time DUIs) that occurred more than 10 years ago; and
  • other nonviolent crimes that occurred more than 10 years ago.

Even if a person does not qualify for the automatic sealing process, those convicted of some first-degree misdemeanors may petition the courts to have their records sealed under the law.  The person cannot have any convictions in the last 10 years and must have fully paid all their court-ordered fines.

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Upcoming Court Closures

In observance of Independence Day, All Courts are closed Thursday, July 4th; Some Courts are also closed Friday, July 5th, which will delay some reports.
 Hire Image will be open July 5th .
We wish everyone a safe and fun holiday!

Recreational Marijuana Becomes Legal in Illinois

Effective January 1, 2020:  Residents of Illinois who are at least 21 years of age may use, grow, and possess marijuana for recreational use.  The law specifically addresses marijuana in the workplace in that it does not prohibit an employer from:

  • Adopting a reasonable zero tolerance or drug free workplace policy or employment policies concerning drug testing, smoking, consumption, storage, or use in the workplace or while on call, provided that the policy is applied in a nondiscriminatory manner;
  • Requiring an employee not to be under the influence of or use cannabis in the employer’s workplace or while performing the employee’s job duties or while on call; and
  • Disciplining an employee or terminating employment of an employee for violating an employer’s employment policies or workplace drug policy.

 

An employer may consider an employee to be impaired or under the influence of cannabis if the employer has a good faith belief that an employee manifests specific, articulable symptoms while working that decrease or lessen the employee’s performance of the duties or tasks of the employee’s position. These symptoms or circumstances may include:

  • the employee’s speech, physical dexterity, agility, coordination, demeanor, irrational or unusual behavior;
  • negligence or carelessness in operating equipment or machinery;
  • disregard for the safety of the employee or others;
  • involvement in any accident that results in serious damage to equipment or property;
  • disruption of a production or manufacturing process; or
  • carelessness that results in any injury to the employee or others.

 

If an employer elects to discipline an employee on the basis that the employee is under the influence or impaired by cannabis, the employer must afford the employee a reasonable opportunity to contest the basis of the determination.

 

Full Text of the Illinois Law

 

For more information on the legalization of marijuana and whether it affects your state, visit our resource guide at https://www.hireimage.com/background-check-resource-library/

Alaska Supreme Court Rules State’s Sex Offender Registry Act Violates Offenders’ Due Process Rights

In John Doe v. State of Alaska, Dep’t of Safety, the Alaska Supreme Court recently held that portions of the Alaska Sex Offender Registry Act (ASORA) are unconstitutional.  In a close 3-2 decision, the court ruled that the registry provides no means for offenders to demonstrate that they are no longer a threat to public safety, and as such, violates their due process rights.  It would follow then that offenders must be given an opportunity to prove they are rehabilitated. 

John Doe moved to Alaska in 2003, after being previously convicted of sexual battery in Virginia in 2000.  He had been sentenced to five years in prison (time suspended) and five years of probation.  He also had to register as a sex offender under Virginia law. Upon moving to Alaska, he registered as a sex offender immediately and again registered the following two years.  However, when the state told him he had to register quarterly for life, he refused.  Upon being convicted of second-degree failure to register as a sex offender, he filed suit against the state.

In his lawsuit, Doe claimed Alaska had no authority to require him to register in Alaska and that the Alaska law violated his due process rights.  The court agreed, in part, stating that while Alaska’s requirements for registering were, in fact, constitutional for out-of-state offenders, the statute violates due process by not allowing offenders to prove they no longer pose a risk.  In its reasoning for the implementation of an individualized risk-assessment hearing, the court stated: “[i]f [an offender] can show … that he does not pose a risk requiring registration, then there is no compelling reason requiring him to register, and the fact that ASORA does not provide for such a hearing means that the statute is unnecessarily broad.”

 

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The impacts of decisions like this on background screening could be far-reaching.  Contact Hire Image to learn more about our Sex Offender Registry Searches and whether they should be added to your own background screening practices.