Category Archives: Employment Screening

Navigating the Maze of State and Local Employment Laws Concerning Sick Time and Family Leave, Criminal and Salary History Checks, Pregnancy and Lactation Accommodation, and Anti-Discrimination Protection for Medical Marijuana Users

Source: Alan D. Berkowitz, J. Ian Downes, and Jane E. Patullo, Employee Relations Law Journal, Vol. 43, No. 4, Spring 2018
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This article provides a brief overview of some of the major trends in employment law regulation at the state and local level.

State and local laws have long been an integral part of the web of laws that regulate the workplace. Among other things, such laws have for many years expanded the scope and reach of anti-discrimination laws, and imposed complex requirements concerning the payment of wages and other compensation issues. In recent years, however, state and local legislators seem to have widened their gaze to expand regulation into numerous new areas, including family and sick leave laws, prohibitions on consideration of criminal histories and prior salary information, and protection of the rights of pregnant and breastfeeding employees. Additionally, the dramatic proliferation of medical marijuana laws in many states has brought with it numerous challenges and issues in the employment area. This article provides a brief overview of some of the major trends in employment law regulation at the state and local level.

Increasing minority employment: Are you ready to recruit?

Source: Mary Lou Egan, Marc Bendick Jr., Employment Relations Today, Early View, First published: 23 July 2018
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From the abstract:
To increase employment from desired race or gender groups, employers nearly always first turn to recruiting from outside their organization. But a few years after such initiatives are undertaken, diversity numbers typically remain low or even decrease, turnover among recruits from the sought‐after groups is high, and the efforts are threatened by their recurrent cost. Employers need to break this fruitless cycle by thinking more strategically. Without an inclusive organizational climate that retains and fully utilizes minority employees after hire, simply recruiting more such employees will not lead to sustainable changes in workforce demographics. Drawing on empirical research, this paper describes six “red flags” that identify workplaces not ready to recruit. Only after organizational changes address the deficiencies identified by the red flags will the time for minority recruitment be at hand. But by then special focused recruitment may not be necessary; when employers change their workplace cultures to become truly inclusive, word gets around.

The new wave of equality legislation: States move to create pay parity by banning inquiries into candidate’s prior salary history

Source: Anne Cherry Barnett, Employment Relations Today, Early View, First published: April 25 2018
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From the abstract:
State‐by‐state survey on current laws prohibiting employers from inquiring into job candidate’s prior salary history.

The Robots Are Already Here: How Automation Will Shake Up Recruiting

Source: Roy Maurer, SHRM, June 8, 2018

People have been talking about automating recruiting tasks and workflows for years, but recent advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning are starting to make that talk reality.

These technologies allow talent acquisition teams to automate processes that they previously performed manually, eliminating inefficiencies and boosting productivity.

Recruiting automation can be found at all stages of the hiring process, from candidate sourcing and engagement, through scheduling and interviewing, to final selection.

When Giving References, How Truthful Can You Be?

Source: Lisa Nagele-Piazza, HR Magazine, Vol. 63 no. 3, April 2018
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Be aware of your rights and responsibilities under state law.

Let’s be real: The employment relationship doesn’t always end on a positive note. So what can HR professionals lawfully say when they’re asked to vouch for a former—perhaps even infamous—employee as part of a reference check? Can they share that someone was fired or a poor performer? 

The answer is usually yes, as long as you’re being truthful—but be aware of your rights and responsibilities under state law…..

The Mark of a Woman’s Record: Gender and Academic Performance in Hiring

Source: Natasha Quadlin, American Sociological Review, Volume 83, Number: 2, April 2018
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From the abstract:
Women earn better grades than men across levels of education—but to what end? This article assesses whether men and women receive equal returns to academic performance in hiring. I conducted an audit study by submitting 2,106 job applications that experimentally manipulated applicants’ GPA, gender, and college major. Although GPA matters little for men, women benefit from moderate achievement but not high achievement. As a result, high-achieving men are called back significantly more often than high-achieving women—at a rate of nearly 2-to-1. I further find that high-achieving women are most readily penalized when they major in math: high-achieving men math majors are called back three times as often as their women counterparts. A survey experiment conducted with 261 hiring decision-makers suggests that these patterns are due to employers’ gendered standards for applicants. Employers value competence and commitment among men applicants, but instead privilege women applicants who are perceived as likeable. This standard helps moderate-achieving women, who are often described as sociable and outgoing, but hurts high-achieving women, whose personalities are viewed with more skepticism. These findings suggest that achievement invokes gendered stereotypes that penalize women for having good grades, creating unequal returns to academic performance at labor market entry.

Suddenly, the Unemployable Are Finding Jobs

Source: Meagan Day, Jacobin, March 14, 2018

With a tightening labor market, CEOs are chasing after the same workers they once derided as unemployable. ….

The post-2008 recession and slow recovery witnessed a spate of reporting and commentary on the so-called “skills gap”. The gist of the argument was that if rates of joblessness remained stubbornly high, it was because workers weren’t good enough for existing jobs: they needed better education, better preparatory training, better skills, and resumes. The bottom line was that workers needed to fix themselves to fit into the economy — not the other way around.

As the economic recovery accelerates, the spuriousness of that argument comes into ever-sharper relief. It turns out corporations were just being picky, taking advantage of a slack labor market and weak demand for their products to discard twenty or a hundred job applications at a time in search of the one perfect employee who — beleaguered by competition and desperate for employment — would work for the wages of an imperfect one.

How do we know that was happening? Because it’s starting to not happen anymore. The labor market is tightening, and companies’ hiring standards are plummeting — showing just how cooked-up those standards were to begin with…..