Legal Blog

Telebriefs®: Criminal Background Checks- What are employers allowed to ask and when?

criminal background checkOn January 22nd, 2017, the Fair Chance Initiative Ordinance became effective in Los Angeles, CA. The ordinance, similarly to “Ban the Box” legislation in other jurisdictions across the country, outlaws employers from inquiring into the criminal history or background of an applicant until a conditional offer of employment has been made. Even without reference to so-called “Ban the Box” statutes, the EEOC has issued guidance on how to properly conduct criminal background checks in the job application process. If it is determined that a job applicant has a criminal history, the EEOC recommends three steps for employers to take. First, the employer should evaluate the seriousness of the offense or misconduct. For example, was the person guilty of assault, or was it a minor shoplifting offense from 15 years ago? Second, the employer should consider the length of time that has passed since the crime or misconduct was committed. Last, the EEOC recommends the employer should consider the nature of the job for which the individual with a criminal background has applied, e.g. a person guilty of embezzlement probably should not be considered for a financial position. To learn more about criminal background checks, listen to this week’s Telebrief here.


Also in this week’s Labor and Employment Telebrief: Right-To-Work Acts contrasted with the Employment-At-Will Doctrine and the EEOC’s guidelines for how to address harassment under Federal Employment Discrimination Laws.


Geared to executives with employee relations responsibilities (HR directors, supervisors, managers, business owners), Labor and Employment Telebriefs® are information-packed 30-minute briefings via the telephone. Telebriefs® provide information and insights to help executives stay current with latest workplace law developments and in front of trends so as to enable proactive policy making and management. On the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month, from 9 – 9:30 am ET, join Offit Kurman Labor & Employment Chair Howard Kurman, as he discusses developments occurring over the past two weeks that will most significantly impact employers nationwide. The focus is squarely on the practical. Why is this event significant for employers? What are the lessons to be learned or actions taken? These twice-monthly teleconferences are an easy way to stay current and compliant with the latest Labor and Employment law developments that will significantly affect you and your company.  Our guarantee: You will learn something useful, on every call! If you have any questions regarding  labor and employment issues, please contact

Howard Kurman: | 410.209.6417


Howard Kurman Casual-SmallHoward K. Kurman is an employment attorney. Mr. Kurman regularly counsels clients on all aspects of proactive employment/labor issues. He represents employers ranging in size from as small as 20 employees to those employers with geographically disparate locations consisting of over 4,000 employees. Mr. Kurman assures, through regular contact with his clients, that they promulgate and maintain the most effective employment policies that will, to the extent possible, minimize their legal exposure in today’s litigious workplace. Mr. Kurman offers advice on employee handbooks, employment agreements, and covenants not to compete as well as confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements. Previously, Mr. Kurman was the chair of the firm’s Labor & Employment Practice Group.

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