In our latest legislative alert, the ATA backs a drug free bill in Congress, a Wells Fargo FCRA violation could go to trial and Target settles with the EEOC.
Truckers Back Drug Free Bill
The American Trucking Associations (ATA) is backing Congressional efforts to allow motor carriers to use hair testing as part of their pre-employment screening programs. ATA President and CEO Bill Graves sent a letter to lawmakers supporting the Drug Free Commercial Driver Act of 2015. The act has been introduced as House Bill 1467 and Senate Bill 806. Right now, federal law requires urinalysis testing, but the ATA supports the addition of hair testing for a couple of reasons. First, hair testing has a much longer detection window and can reveal habitual users. It is also much harder to “beat the test” when a collector must snip the hair right from a subject’s head. Unions representing the drivers are against the changes because they say hair specimens can cause false positives. Graves counters that labs have made significant strides in distinguishing environmental exposure from actual drug use.
Wells Fargo Class Action Will Go to Trial
Did Wells Fargo Bank violate the FCRA while conducting pre-employment background checks? A class action complaint alleges the bank not only failed to provide a stand-alone disclosure regarding the use of background checks, but that it also broke the law by labeling some applicants at “ineligible” within the system before any adverse action was taken. A federal judge in Virginia denied the defendant’s request for summary judgment because, according to the court, the plaintiff has standing to sue under the FCRA regarding the disclosure form. As for the other claim, is the “ineligible” coding an adverse action in itself? The judge says that is a triable issue.
Target Settles with the EEOC
Did Target use discriminatory pre-employment skills testing on job applicants? The retailer just paid the EEOC $2.8 million to settle a case that alleged the company used cognitive exams that unfairly screened out applicants for upper-level positions based on race and gender. While Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act allow such testing, tests are only legal if they are not designed or intended to be used to discriminate on the basis of a protected characteristic. These tests often measure verbal, numerical and spatial reasoning. They can also including physical and psychological exams and aptitude tests. The exact type of test used by Target has not been released, but the EEOC reports it was concerned about four different assessments. While the EEOC says, at first look, the tests seemed neutral, the commission claims they did statistical analysis that showed adverse impact on women, Asian and black applicants. The EEOC also claims the tests were not sufficiently job-related. More than 3,000 people were allegedly denied job offers at Target because of the testing. According to the EEOC, money from the settlement will go to the applicants. A Target spokesperson said they firmly believe there was no improper behavior. The company no longer uses the tests cited by the EEOC, but the decision to settle was made to avoid the time and expense of a drawn out litigation.
E-Verify Gets Bilingual
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) launches a new version of my E-Verify in Spanish. Just as the English version, the new service gives workers and job-seekers a free and secure way to manage the use of their information. In addition to confirming their employment eligibility, applicants can set up secure personal accounts and lock their Social Security numbers in E-Verify so no one else can falsely use their identities. Both the English and Spanish sites now also have Case History and Case Tracker- new services to allow applicants to see what data was used in E-Verify and to track the status of their E-Verify case with a verification number. For more information on E-Verify, visit www.dhs.gov/E-Verify; for myE-Verify, visit http://www.uscis.gov/myE-Verify.