This week’s Compliance News Flash features information on New York City’s pay equity law, stats on FCRA litigation, personnel moves at the Federal Trade Commission, news about a Form I-9 scam, and information about my presentation on developing a compliant background screening at my firm’s upcoming Employment Law Seminar in Atlanta.

Click here to read my News Flash.

If you’re in the Atlanta area I hope you can join me, and my colleagues, for our annual Employment Law Seminar which is scheduled for Friday, November 17 at the Cobb Energy Centre.  There have been many new developments on the employment law front over the past year – and seemingly every day in the news – so we think this year’s seminar presentations will be particularly relevant and useful for our attendees.  And, it’s free plus we feed you! 

Click here to read more about the seminar and click here to register.

 

 

San Francisco’s Board of Supervisor’s passed a pay equity ordinance on July 11, 2017 which is now awaiting the Mayor’s signature. The “Parity in Pay” ordinance will become operative July 1, 2018. The ordinance will ban private employers from inquiring about and considering a job applicant’s prior salary history. It will also apply to certain contractors working with the city of San Francisco.  The ordinance, which adds Article 33 to the Police Code and Chapter 12K to the Administrative Code, can be found by clicking here.

  • The ordinance will apply to applicants applying for private employment to be performed in the geographic boundaries of San Francisco (the city and county). Under certain circumstances, the ordinance also applies to applicants for private employment where the work is performed under a contract with the city of San Francisco or when the work is performed on city property used under a lease, permit or license.
  • The prohibition is such that an employer cannot consider or rely on an applicant’s salary history as a factor in determining whether to offer employment to an applicant, or what their salary will be. Furthermore, employers cannot release the salary history of current or former employees to an applicant’s prospective employer without written authorization from the current or former employee, unless the release of salary history is required by law, is part of a publicly available record, or is subject to a collective bargaining agreement.
  • If an applicant voluntarily discloses salary history or provides written authorization to the release of salary history, then such can be considered or verified by an employer.

California’s Office of Labor Standards Enforcement (OLSE) will publish and make available in multiple languages notices describing to job applicants and employees their rights under the law. Employers will be required to post such notices in a conspicuous place at their workplace.

San Francisco joins the following states and cities with pay equity ordinances on the books — Delaware, Massachusetts, Oregon, New York City, NY and Philadelphia, PA.

 

As my readers know, my legal practice covers advising organizations on both compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act as well as the Immigration and Nationality Act.  Background screening and immigration.  In the end, both federal laws address employee onboarding issues related to work authorization and background checks.

In addition to writing my (almost) weekly Compliance News Flashes, over the past few months I’ve written a series of bylines for different publications focusing on immigration-related worksite enforcement and how employers can protect themselves regarding their compliance with the employment eligibility verification requirements (i.e., the Form I-9). To facilitate compliance I thought it would be helpful to include these articles, as well as articles I’m quoted in along with a free webinar, in one blog posting with links.

Bylines:

  • The Record-Keeping Mistake You Could Be Making published in Construction Business Owner — “The Employment Eligibility Verification form—known as the Form I-9—is a deceptively difficult form for employers to complete, even though it is only two pages in length and its sole purpose is to document identity and work authorization. Proper completion of the Form I-9 is especially important in the industries with large workforces, given today’s environment. An employer’s good faith compliance with Form I-9 requirements can establish an affirmative defense to allegations of knowingly hiring unauthorized workers.”
  • Are Your Employment Practices Setting You Up for a Discrimination Claim? published in QSR Magazine — In an article published by QSR Magazine on April 18, 2017, Montserrat Miller helps leaders within the restaurant industry understand the employee onboarding process to avoid claims of unlawful discriminatory practices under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
  • Are Your Employment Practices Setting You Up for a Discrimination Claim? published in FSR Magazine — In an article published by FSR Magazine on April 18, 2017, Montserrat Miller helps leaders within the restaurant industry understand the employee onboarding process to avoid claims of unlawful discriminatory practices under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
  • Strategies to Maintaining a Legal Workforce as Concerns about Increased Worksite Enforcement Increase published in Georgia Contractor — see pages 30 and 31.

Quoted in:

Get Ready for More Immigration Audits,” Human Resource Executive Daily

In an article published by Human Resource Executive Daily on June 5, 2017, Montserrat Miller discusses immigration enforcement in the United States and how employers should prepare. “Make sure people on the front lines, such as receptionists, know what to do when an agent arrives. They also should know what documentation ICE agents are required to present when they arrive, and whom to summon for help, including HR leaders and legal counsel,” said Miller.

Immigration Enforcement Efforts Expected to Increase,” Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)

In an article published by SHRM on May 18, 2017, Montserrat Miller is featured prominently in an article discussing how immigration enforcement related to the workplace–raids, audits and site visits–are likely to increase under the Trump administration and how audits will focus on visa fraud, not just Form I-9 violations.

Webinars:

In June I did a webinar for the Georgia Restaurant Association entitled Workplace Investigations by the Department of Homeland Security – Is Your Restaurant Ready?  — this free webinar is of general applicability and I encourage everyone to take advantage of free legal advice.

Compliance News Flashes:

If you’re interested in receiving the Compliance News Flashes (latest edition) please email me at montserrat.miller@agg.com. This newsletter provides quick blurbs on compliance issues related to background screening and immigration.

Please enjoy this week’s Compliance News Flash with blurbs about the largest FCRA-related jury award, litigation involving a public record vendor, the President’s travel ban, the Form I-9, and increased vetting of visa applicants.

Click here to read the Compliance News Flash.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signed legislation prohibiting employers from inquiring about a prospective employee’s salary history during the hiring process. New York City joins Massachusetts and Philadelphia in passing legislation seeking to address the gender pay gap and ensure pay equity in the workplace.

Key details of the new law:

  • It will take effect October 31, 2017 and applies to private employers, among others.
  • It amends the Administrative Code (section 8-107) of the City of New York in relation to prohibiting employers from inquiring about or relying on a prospective employee’s salary history.  Therefore, as an employer, if inquiring into salary history is a part of your background screening process, you will need to re-evaluate this practice in order to ensure compliance by October 31, 2017.
  • Once effective, it will be an unlawful discriminatory practice for an employer, employment agency, or employee or agent to (i) inquire about the salary history of a job applicant; or (ii) rely on the salary history of a job applicant in determining salary, benefits or other compensation during the hiring practice, and including the negotiation of a contract.
  • Exceptions — an employer can still engage in a discussion with the job applicant about their expectations with respect to salary, benefits and other compensation; but, they cannot ask about salary history.   Another exception to the general restriction on inquiring about salary history is where the job applicant proactively discloses salary history, at which point an employer may consider salary history and may even verify the job applicant’s salary history.
  • The general prohibition on inquiring about salary history does not apply to situations where federal, state or local law requires such disclosure or verification of salary history for employment purposes; (ii) internal transfers or promotions; and (iii) public employee positions governed by a collective bargaining agreement.

Background screening companies note the term “agent” and the potential for a claim of engaging in an unlawful discriminatory practice. Bear in mind that New York City’s Stop Credit Discrimination in Employment Act (SCDEA) makes it unlawful to “aid or abet” any form of prohibited discrimination, including credit discrimination and this applies to consumer reporting agencies (i.e., background screeners). It is likely that the New York City Commission on Human Rights will issues regulations and guidance to clarify the intent of the law and we will see if they address this issue and other aspects of the law.

In February I started writing a weekly compliance news flash which is published on Friday.  In April it dawns on me that I should provide this information to all my wonderful readers (thank you by the way). Clearly I was on the slow train on this one.  Regardless, here you go–this week’s compliance news flash which succinctly covers important issues related to employment background checks  and immigration compliance (i.e., Form I-9, E-Verify and Homeland Security workplace investigations).  Prior versions of the Compliance News Flash can be found by clicking here and here and here.  If you would like the news flash to appear in your inbox please send me an email and I will add you to my list — montserrat.miller@agg.com.

Happy reading.

Perk for members of NAPBS.  A colleague of mine is doing a webinar for members of NAPBS on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).  Below is a summary of the webinar Mike Burke will be leading tomorrow (March 29) at 3 pm EST.

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) impacts every U.S. business that has operations in other countries. Given the nature of the background screening industry, and the contacts between industry and government officials and regulators, U.S. background screeners need to pay particular attention to the FCPA’s compliance requirements. In this program, we will discuss the FCPA’s compliance requirements, the applicability to the background screening industry, and share some best practice tips for compliance.

If you are a member of NAPBS, click here to register.