Legislative Alert – September 18, 2014 Screening News Update



EBI is proud to present our new Screening News Update videos. We will continue to publish the text version of our Legislative Alerts, but now you will also have the option to view them as broadcasts from our EBI Screening News Network studio. We hope you enjoy this new feature!

This week's topics include:

  • San Fran Bans the Box
  • The New York Times supports legalizing marijuana
  • Texas officially shuts down Houston diploma mill

San Fran’s Ban in Place

Private employers in the City by the Bay must now ban the box just like those in the public sector. The city’s Fair Chance Ordinance took effect on August 13th. It bars most employers and housing providers from asking applicants about their criminal history on their initial applications. Public employers have been doing so since 2006. A member of the city’s Board of Supervisors says one in four Californians has an arrest or conviction on their record.

There is a new notice that employers need to post… you can find it by clicking here.

Employers must also clearly state in all advertisements that they will consider qualified applicants with criminal histories.

To Test, or Not to Test?

The New York Times has been extremely vocal in its support for legalizing marijuana.  In fact, the Old Grey Lady posted a six-part series on their editorial page explaining its support for the legislative change. That’s the editorial boards stance. The HR department sees things very differently.

A spokeswoman for the Times told HuffPost that their policies and procedures will not change. All prospective hires will still have to take a drug test.

This seeming hypocrisy highlights the difficult questions facing companies across the country. Laws differ state to state - some allow it - some don’t, yet under federal law pot is still illegal. Employers have the right to test for the drug, even if employees are partaking legally. The roller coaster ride on this issue is just beginning.

Another Reason to Verify Education

The state of Texas officially shut down a diploma mill in Houston. The state’s Attorney General froze Lincoln Academy’s assets back in March. For $299 and a few minutes online you could get a high school diploma or a GED. The “academy” didn’t require any actual work or study for the “degree”… just the money. Now there is an agreement that shuts the so-called academy down permanently and gives $1.4 million in compensation to students who were deceived.


Employment Background Investigations is a technology driven leader in domestic and global pre-employment background checks, drug testing, occupational health screening and I-9 compliance. We specialize in development, implementation and management of customized employment screening programs for large and multi-national clients. We are dedicated to information security.  EBI is the only NAPBS Accredited background screening company to hold both an ISO 27001:2005 certification for information security and an ISO 9001:2008 certification for Quality Management.

All content provided by EBI is published for the convenience of its readers and should never be deemed as legal guidance or advice.  Always consult your legal counsel for specific advice on state laws and industry regulations.


Background Checks, Legislative Alerts, Ban the Box, Legalizing Marijuana, Education

Jennifer Gladstone

Posted By: Jennifer Gladstone

Jennifer Gladstone is a news anchor and journalist with more than 20 years of experience in front of the camera. She's worked in several markets, large and small, and has performed nearly every task needed in a newsroom. As EBI’s Screening News Editor, she keeps EBI’s customers and blog subscribers up to date on the latest screening news and legislative alerts affecting companies of all sizes.