Legislative Alert: Target Settlement | NYC Background Backlog | Bill to Ban Marijuana Testing [Video]
- Giant Retailer Settles Discrimination Class Action
- New York Background Check Breakdown
- Should Wisconsin Employers Stop Marijuana Testing?
Giant Retailer Settles Discrimination Class Action
Target has agreed to pay $3.74 million to settle a class action lawsuit over its background screening policies. The lawsuit alleged Target’s system of automatically rejecting job applicants if they have certain misdemeanor or felony convictions unfairly impacted African-American and Latino candidates. The retailer has required criminal background checks since 2001, and up until now, had removed from consideration anyone with convictions for violence, theft or drugs. This suit has been brewing since 2007 when an applicant filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) after getting turned down for a job over two misdemeanors that were nearly a decade old. Target says it will now only ask about criminal history in the final stages of the hiring process, and members of the class will have the chance to re-apply for jobs if they wish.
New York Background Check Breakdown
More than 6,000 New York City employees are on the job without their mandatory background checks. According to the Department of Investigation, the backlog was caused by a rush of new hires by Mayor Bill de Blasio and a chronic staff shortage in the department responsible for vetting them. The DOI has asked the mayor’s office to authorize 13 new hires to try to get a handle on the problem. In the meantime, de Blasio has added 33,000 to the payroll. Right now, it is taking about 522 days to complete the background checks. If the city were to stop hiring altogether, it would take the department more than 2 years to clear the backlog.
Should Wisconsin Employers Stop Marijuana Testing?
Wisconsin State Representative David Bowen (D-Milwaukee) has introduced a bill that would force companies to stop testing for marijuana use. The drug is still illegal by state law, although a few municipalities have legalized some medical uses. Bowen says he wants to prevent workers from losing their livelihood by testing positive for marijuana weeks, or even possibly months, after using the drug. He says this should not disqualify workers any more than having a few beers the night before an interview would. The bill would not legalize the drug, it would just change the rules for employers.