U.S. District Court Sides with the State of Texas in Lawsuit Challenging EEOC’s Guidance on the use of Criminal Records

The State of Texas had filed a lawsuit against the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) challenging their 2012 “Enforcement Guidance on the Consideration of Arrest and Convictions Records in Employment Decisions Under Title VII”. The Guidelines prevent employers from barring convicted felons from certain employment opportunities including, but not limited to, state troopers and public educators. In response to the EEOC’s Guidelines, Attorney General Paxton agrees that Texas should have the right to impose their own law, as he states that these hiring directives are “a risk to public safety.”

The latest ruling blocks the EEOC from enforcing the guidance against the state. The Court declined to declare that the state has a right to have an absolute bar of hiring convicted felons. The judge stated, “there may well be instances in which otherwise qualified job applicants with certain felony convictions in their criminal histories pose no objectively reasonable risk to the interests of the State of Texas and its citizens.”

Although a major win for Texas, the judge’s refusal to declare Texas’ right to categorically exclude felons from all jobs and the ability for the EEOC to still issue right to sue letters in Texas cases was not an entire win for the state.

The favorable ruling in TX does not apply to private employers. According to an EEOC representative, the agency is assessing the impact of the court’s decision on enforcement activities and it is unlikely the government, under the current administration, will appeal this ruling.

For more information on the EEOC guidance, click here.

Vermont the Latest State to Legalize Recreational Marijuana

On January 22, 2018, Vermont state legislators passed a bill (H. 511) legalizing the recreational use of marijuana for those over the age of 21. Vermont is the first state to legalize through legislature.

Effective July 2018, adults will legally be allowed to posses up to one ounce of marijuana and grow up to two mature plants and four immature plants. The sale of marijuana will not be allowed under this new law. Stronger penalties will be executed for actions such as selling to those who are underage and the consumption in a public place or vehicle.

Although recreational marijuana usage may be decriminalized at the state level, employers are not required to permit its usage and can maintain the same drug-free workplace policies that were established prior to the state laws taking effect. At the same time, that does not mean employers should be reluctant to revisit old, outdated policies. As new laws alter the employment landscape, it behooves all employers to continuously refine internal practices and consider drug testing policies a work in progress.

Impact of Government Shutdown on Background Checks and E-Verify

Many services have been impacted due to the government shutdown. The shutdown will not have an impact on federal criminal and civil searches, as the federal Judiciary is open during this time. They are expected to have funds through February 9th. Click here for more information.

E-Verify, however, is currently unavailable due to the lapse in DHS appropriations caused by the government shutdown. During this time, employers are unable to access their E-Verify accounts. E-Verify Customer Support and related services are also closed at this time. Click here for more information.

If you have questions please don’t hesitate to contact us at 888-433-0090.

Hire Image Welcomes Christina Carrion as Director of Client Relations

Hire Image, LLC is pleased to announce and welcome Christina Carrion as the new Director of Client Relations.  Christina joins us as a twelve-year veteran of the background screening industry and will be an integral part of the continued future success of our company.

Christina’s prior roles included Director of Operations, Account Coordinator, Account Manager, and Production Coordinator.  Additionally, she has a proven record of facilitating long-term business relationships with both clients, including several Fortune 500 companies, and industry leaders.  Her experience and credentials will complement and enhance Hire Image’s ability to meet the needs of our clients.  Christina is now responsible for building and maintaining client relationships from onboarding through long-term satisfaction and retention.  Her new role began on December 04, 2017.  Welcome Christina!

Christine Cunneen, CEO of Hire Image, Honored as National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) Volunteer of the Month

We are proud to announce that Christine Cunneen, Chief Executive Office of Hire Image, LLC, has been selected as the December 2017 NAPBS Volunteer of the Month.  Cunneen, a long-time supporter, volunteer, and friend to NAPBS and other professional and non-profit organizations, is no stranger to helping wherever needed.  “I am honored to be selected as the Volunteer of the Month.  I find that in order to truly feel successful and fulfilled, you must give back–whether it’s time, monetary donations, or in-kind services or donations.  Additionally, NAPBS helps our industry in countless ways and they can’t do it without our support,” noted Cunneen on the achievement.

Cunneen has been involved with NAPBS for over ten years, serving as Chair in 2014-2015.  She continues to show her passion for the organization through her vigorous involvement.   She currently serves not only as the Finance Committee Chair, but is also active in many groups and committees, including the Ethics Advisory Group, Governance Advisory Group, Government Relations Committee, and Advocacy Committee.  The NAPBS Volunteer Recognition Program was created to highlight the contributions of volunteers just like Cunneen.