Legislative Alert Friday, March 18th: DC Sees 113% Increase in Ban the Box Lawsuits
Screening News Update
- Lawsuits Surge in DC over Ban the Box
- Pilot Program Drug Testing Drivers
- Another Try for Medical Marijuana in Ohio
Lawsuits Surge in DC over Ban the Box
It’s only been a year and an half since Washington, DC instituted its Ban the Box policy, but there are already 365 cases accusing companies of violating the new law. Under the Fair Criminal Record Screening Amendment Act, employers are prohibited from asking about an applicant’s criminal history until after they’ve made a conditional job offer. Why are so many people coming forward? It might have to do with the fact that -- unlike most other ban the box ordinances -- DC allows the high fines that are imposed on employers to be split between the government and the person bringing the complaint. This has led to a 113% increase in the number of complaints received over last year. As of the end of the 2015 fiscal year, 50 cases have been settled and $48,300 has been paid out.
Pilot Program Drug Testing Drivers
The State of Maryland is considering implementing a pilot program to see if oral fluid samples can help police officers determine if drivers are under the influence of drugs. If approved, officers in Baltimore County, Montgomery County, Prince George’s County and Ocean City will be able to use a device to collect an oral fluid sample if they feel there is reasonable suspicion that a driver is impaired. The bill is still in the hearing phase, and under the pilot program the results cannot be used in court, but supporters say this is an important first step to making such evidence stick.
Another try for Medical Marijuana in Ohio
Will Ohio be the 24th state to legalize medical marijuana? The language for a constitutional amendment has already been submitted to state officials, and supporters are in the process of getting the 500,000 signatures needed to get the issue onto the November ballot. Last November voters said NO to legalizing both recreational and medical marijuana, most likely because the legislation included language that created a monopoly for just 10 suppliers across the whole state. It looks like the effort might succeed this time. A Quinnipiac poll shows 90% of voters in Ohio support medical marijuana, and Governor John Kasich says he is open to studying the issue.