Screening News Update – October 15, 2014. This Screening News and Legislative Alert blog post contains BOTH a text and a video version.
This week's topics include:
- Protecting children of the military
- Obey the FCRA or be prepared to pay
- New OSHA rules affect thousands
Protecting Military Children
The Department of Defense has announced new rules for making sure the children of active duty military personnel are safe while in day care. Caretakers will be required to have background checks that look for convictions for felony drug offenses, sexual offenses and negligence that led to the death or injury of a child. These are just some of the red flags the Pentagon wants to look for.
According to the DOD, all of these infractions could be grounds for denying employment, or outright dismissal for a current employee. Those who pass the background checks will be required to self-report any future arrests.
The Pentagon says these background checks will cost more than 10 million dollars a year.
New OSHA Rules Affect Thousands
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has revised its recordkeeping rule. Now there are several more severe injuries that an employer is required to report in a timely manner. The changes also require hundreds of thousands of employers to start keeping records of work-related injuries and illnesses, when they were previously exempt.
The old rules required employers to report all work related fatalities and hospitalizations when involving three or more employees. Now reports must include all work-related fatalities, any hospitalization, amputation or loss of an eye, regardless of the number of employees involved.
Companies with fewer than 10 employees are generally still exempt from the new record keeping rules; however this exemption does not apply to a list of 24 industries, regardless of the size of the company. This list ranges from bakeries and tortilla manufacturers to museums, specialty food stores, real estate and scientific services.
Obey the FCRA or Be Prepared to Pay
A class action lawsuit has been filed against office supply giant STAPLES, Inc. The suit claims STAPLES failed to properly inform job applicants and employees about their use of background checks, which is a violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).
An employer can violate the FCRA by failing to give notice that a background check will be performed, failing to obtain the proper authorization prior to conducting the background check and failing to inform the consumer that the information can be used in hiring decisions. Failing to provide a copy of the report to the applicant, not allowing time to dispute the information or taking adverse action without notice are also violations of the law.
Attorneys representing the plaintiffs say their clients were deprived of their rights and they may be entitled to monetary damages.
DC Ban Goes Into Effect This Month
And finally, a quick note on Ban the Box. Late last month, DC mayor Vincent Gray signed the city-wide ban. The law is expected to go into effect around October 21st. The date might slide a day or two depending on how long Congress remains in session.
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