Effective February 19, 2021, Montgomery County’s Ban-the-Box law is becoming far more restrictive and will apply to all employers – not just those with 15 or more employees.

As employers with employees in Montgomery County, Maryland should know, Montgomery County had previously enacted a Ban-the-Box law that prohibited inquiries about an applicant’s arrest or conviction record until the end of the first interview. (The “Box” refers to the box, contained on many employment applications, that must be checked if the applicant has a criminal record.) This law has now been amended, with expansive new protections for applicants and employees of all Montgomery County employers.Continue Reading Montgomery County’s Ban the Box Law Is Becoming More Restrictive

In Maryland, if your employment application includes criminal history questions, then you are not paying attention to Shawe Rosenthal’s electronic communications.  As we advised in an E-Lert, “Ban the Box” (the little box asking about criminal history that applicants check off) became the law in Maryland effective February 29, 2020.
Continue Reading Maryland Bans Another Box from Employment Applications (and Discussions)

My world shifted slightly last week, when a federal court in Texas ruled that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission could not enforce its Enforcement Guidance on “Consideration of Arrest and Conviction Records in Employment Decisions Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.” After all, for years now I had looked to this Guidance as the EEOC’s definitive position on the use of criminal background records, particularly in hiring. I had referred clients to it, provided legal advice based on it, cited it in articles and presentations…. But now?
Continue Reading No Enforcement of the EEOC’s Criminal Background Check Guidance?

The issue of whether employees can be required to sign arbitration agreements that contain waivers of their right to file a class or collective action over employment-related disputes is one that has drawn much attention – and much conflict – in recent years. The Obama administration, it seemed, steadfastly opposed such waivers. Under the Trump administration, which (regardless of your politics) has had a slow and bumpy transition of federal agency leadership, the agencies do not appear to be operating from the same playbook – as evidenced by recent actions by the National Labor Relations Board, (NLRB), the Department of Justice (DOJ), and the Consumer Financial Protection Board (CFPB).
Continue Reading The Government Seems Confused About Class Action Waivers

As one of the co-chairs for the Employment Issues Task Force of the Maryland Chamber of Commerce, I see the employment legislation that is proposed during each Maryland General Assembly session. Some of it makes sense (although, frankly, not often), and some of it makes me scream (literally – just ask my partners). For

I don’t actually have the answer to that. But someone else will soon – BMW Manufacturing Co., who is being sued by the EEOC regarding BMW’s use of criminal background checks.

As we’ve discussed in prior posts, the EEOC is being exceedingly (and sometimes unreasonably) aggressive in challenging employer’s criminal background check policies, claiming that

My teenagers thought that the new Maryland law decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana meant that smoking pot was now legal.  I’m sure many people have that misconception.  Sadly for them, and for my kids, that is not correct.

This legislation, which takes effect on October 1, 2014, decriminalizes the possession of less

I follow proposed employment legislation in Maryland during our legislative session, which runs from January to April each year. More and more, the bills that are proposed use California statutes as models, which is troubling. Employers in our State certainly do not want Maryland to become the “California of the East!” More troubling still, in

Most (I hope) employers understand that they have to comply with the notice and authorization requirements of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) when using a third party to conduct background checks of current and prospective employees.  What many employers don’t realize is that there are certain FCRA obligations that may apply with regard to