HR CHOICE UPDATE: EMPLOYMENT LAW CHANGES AND UPDATES
Ban the Box legislation passes in Colorado.
When can employers ask about criminal history?
Ban the Box laws are laws that prohibit companies from inquiring about applicants’ criminal histories on job applications. Many states have passed legislation featuring Ban the Box with varying definitions, so if you operate in states other than Colorado we can help you confirm what applies in your state.
For our Clients in Colorado, the new law is scheduled to take effect on August 2, 2019, with implementation beginning September 1, 2019. On that date, the law imposes the aforementioned restrictions on employers with 11 or more employees, and on September 1, 2021, it will apply to all Colorado employers, with the exception of state, local or quasi- governmental entities. Employers need to be ready to review and potentially revise their employment applications forms and documents.
The new law will prevent employers from:
Stating in an advertisement or application for an open position that a person with a criminal history may not apply for the position.
Inquiring into (or requiring disclosure of) an applicant’s criminal history on an initial written or electronic application form.
Colorado will join more than a dozen states and more than 20 municipalities that have adopted some form of this measure to prevent employers from dismissing job applicants out of hand as a result of past criminal history.
Ban the Box laws do not preclude employers from ever inquiring about an applicant’s criminal history, but do postpone the inquiry until later in the hiring process. The rationale for doing this is to promote hiring based on qualifications, not criminal histories. Ban the Box laws do not require employers to hire people with criminal records.
These laws support the general belief that individuals should be considered for a job based on qualifications and not criminal histories, at least during the application and interview process.
The EEOC outlined examples of best practices for employers that are considering using criminal record information when making employment decisions. The EEOC stated that employers should:
Eliminate policies or practices that exclude people from employment based on any criminal record; limit questions and inquiries related to criminal records for which exclusion would be job related for the position in question and consistent with business necessity; and develop a narrowly tailored written policy and procedure for screening applicants for criminal conduct.
HR Choice is available to provide our clients guidance and support in the revision of these Recruiting and Hiring procedures and forms.
Are your I-9s Compliant and Accurate?
With the current Immigration climate, it is more important than ever to ensure your I-9s are compliant. An I-9 audit is designed to verify employment eligibility and ensure employers are following legal hiring practices.
It is best practice to conduct an I-9 compliance audit annually. These audits are especially important because they not only help employers remain in I-9 compliance, but also help prepare for potential I-9 audits carried out by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE).
ICE frequently administers inspections with the purpose to audit I-9 compliance and ensure no one is being employed illegally. Often for no reason and with little notice, ICE will provide a Notice of Inspection (NOI) and will want I-9 documentation within three business days. If your company is subject to an I-9 compliance inspection, it is imperative to ensure all I-9 forms are in order and accurately filled out.
While I-9 compliance may be simple, it is full of hurdles that can cause serious issues for employers. Failure to be in compliance is against the law can cause severe fines and penalties. Even simple record keeping mistakes and omissions can result in huge fines and issues. Confusion can lead to common mistakes in each of the three I-9 sections.
HR Choice supports our clients in managing this risk by either guiding you to perform your own I-9 Audit or by completing the Audit for you and supporting any corrective action that is needed.
You received a letter from Social Security requesting an employer correction, now what??
Security Mismatch Letter Notification Program in 2019
The Social Security Administration (“SSA”) recently announced that in 2019, it will restart its mismatch letter notification program. Through “mismatch” letters, formally titled “Employer Correction Requests,” the SSA notifies employers that the social security number (“SSN”) and name reported for one or more employees does not match SSA records.
These notification letters advise employers that a SSN mismatch is not an assumption of SSN falsification or other misconduct. Mismatches can be caused by typographical errors, unreported name changes, incomplete records, or SSN misuse. In any event, employers who receive such letters must act promptly and are advised to document the steps taken to resolve the discrepancy. Employers must be cautious on how to address this situation with employees whose number does not match the Social Security database.
Many of our clients have received these letters. HR Choice supports our clients and is available to give you guidance through the process.
Don’t hesitate to contact us for any assistance at 720-335-6540 or firstname.lastname@example.org.