Category Archives: Employment Screening

Employees Returning from Military Leave: Newest Potential Legal Liability for Employers

Source: Dan Van Bogaert, Employee Relations Law Journal, Vol. 33, no. 4, Spring 2008

More than a quarter of a million soldiers have returned from military service to their previous civilian jobs in recent years. What this means is employers need to pay closer attention to the recruitment, selection, and retention of employees with military backgrounds. Because of the pervasive scope military conflict throughout the world today, there are increasing numbers of employees and job applicants with military service backgrounds. Therefore, most employers are affected by this circumstance, even those organizations that may not currently employ workers who are on military leave.

Although some of the concerns regarding post traumatic stress disorder have been exaggerated, employers still face many challenges relating to employees returning from military leave. This article thoroughly examines these challenges and related legal responsibilities of employers, and offers practical guidelines for human resources management.

EEOC issues fact sheet on employment tests and selection procedures to screen applicants, workers

Source: U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

Press release:

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today issued an extensive fact sheet on the application of federal anti-discrimination laws to employer tests and other selection procedures to screen applicants for hire and employees for promotion. The fact sheet describes common types of employer administered tests and selection procedures used in the 21st century workplace, including cognitive tests, personality tests, medical examinations, credit checks, and criminal background checks. The document also focuses on “best practices” for employers to follow when using employment tests and other screening devices, and cites recent EEOC enforcement actions. Discriminatory employment tests and selection procedures are prohibited by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act — which are all enforced by the EEOC.

Employment Tests and Selection Procedures

The Law of Criminal Background Checks

Source: Hope A. Comisky and Christopher P. Zubowicz, Employee Relations Law Journal, Winter 2006, Vol. 32 no. 3

More employers are concluding criminal background checks on prospective and current employees, obtaining information relating to prior arrests or convictions. While such screening provides various benefits to employers, they must be aware of what information to seek, who should conduct the check, and how to use the information received. Employers must develop proper procedures and practices regarding background checks to avoid potential liability under federal and applicable state law.

Where There’s Smoke: Employer Policies on Smoking

Source: Sandra M. Tomkowicz and Susan K. Lessack, Employee Relations Law Journal, Winter 2006, Vol. 32 no. 3

In response to a recent Surgeon General’s report highlighting the dangers of secondhand smoke, employers may be increasingly pressed to balance the rights of smokers and non-smokers. Policies that attempt to control off-the-job smoking pose higher litigation risks than policies targeted specifically at eliminating smoke in the workplace. Failing to provide a smoke-free environment also may pose a risk of litigation to employers.