This week’s news flash – a quick overview of timely background screening and immigration-related news that is important to your organization.
- Expect activity at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in the coming weeks and months under the Trump Administration. Victoria Lipnic, a Republican, has been named Acting Chair by President Trump and the President has the opportunity to nominate two more Republican commissioners. One to replace Commissioner Jenny Yang, whose term expires in July of this year, and the other to fill the seat left vacant by the departure of Commissioner Connie Barker. The position of EEOC General Counsel also needs to be filled after the departure of David Lopez. The EEOC recently issued its Strategic Enforcement Plan (SEP) for 2017 – 2021. Some substantive area priorities include eliminating barriers in recruitment and hiring (including as it relates to background checks) and addressing selected emerging and developing issues such as temporary workers, staffing agencies, independent contractor relationships, and the on-demand economy.
- U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services issued a revised M-274, Handbook for Employers which provides guidance on completion of the Employment Eligibility Verification form, otherwise known as the Form I-9. As a general rule, all employers must complete the Form I-9 within three business days of hire. Read more about the M-274 by clicking here.
- The Federal Trade Commission recently posted on its Business Blog guidance regarding the use of consumer reports for eligibility determinations and the impact of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. The blog posting is entitled “Background checks? Don’t double-dip.” In a nutshell, the FTC states “When you get a consumer report, you must certify to the CRA the purpose for which you will use it. You must use the report only for that purpose.” In other words, if you certify to the consumer reporting agency (CRA) (e.g., background screening company) that the purpose of the report you have requested—such as a background check—is for employment screening purposes, you cannot turn around and use that report for another purpose.
- Keep an eye on raids by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in your community and workplace. This month, Homeland Security Secretary Kelly confirmed that immigration raids took place in Chicago, New York City, Atlanta, Los Angeles and San Antonio and that over 680 individuals were arrested. Although the Administration’s priorities with respect to such raids are to arrest those with criminal convictions, those who illegally re-entered the United States after deportation, and those with an outstanding order of deportation—others are being caught up in these raids. If you would like to discuss further ICE worksite enforcement operations and how to prepare your company for such, please contact Montserrat Miller.
- Restrictions on inquiries into wage history during the hiring process is something to be aware of. Massachusetts (S. 2119) and Philadelphia (Bill No. 160840) have laws on the books, and Pennsylvania, New Jersey, California and New York City are considering bills to restrict inquiring about an applicant’s wage history. The laws are intended to address pay inequities that affect primarily women and minorities.