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CITY OF BUFFALO JOINS ‘BAN THE BOX’ CLUB

“On Tuesday, May 28, 2013, the Common Council of the City of Buffalo followed the lead of New York City, Newark, and Philadelphia, when it passed its own “ban the box” ordinance by a vote of 7-2. The ordinance, which amends Chapter 154 of the Code of the City of Buffalo, and which passed by enough votes to override any potential veto by Mayor Byron W. Brown, prevents the City of Buffalo, its vendors, and any Buffalo employer with at least 15 employees from asking questions regarding or pertaining to an applicant’s prior criminal convictions on any employment application.

Exempt from the law are the Departments of Police and Fire (or any other employer hiring for “police officer” and “peace officer” positions), public and private schools, and providers of direct services specific to the care or supervision of children, young adults, senior citizens, or the physically or mentally handicapped. In addition, employers hiring for licensed trades or professions may ask applicants the same questions asked by the trade or professional licensing body, and employers are not constrained from asking questions about convictions or violations where the same would serve as a bar to employment in that position under New York or Federal law.

Employers who violate the new ordinance may find themselves liable in a civil action or proceeding for damages, injunctive relief and reasonable attorneys’ fees. Additionally, individuals may pursue relief by filing an administrative complaint with the Commission on Citizens’ Rights and Community Relations. In the event of a probable cause finding by the Commission’s Director, an action may be filed in court against the employer seeking a penalty of $500 for the first violation and/or $1,000 for each subsequent violation.

It should be noted that under the new ordinance, employers may still ask questions about and consider candidates’ prior criminal convictions during an initial interview that takes place after the application is submitted. However, employers that comply with the new Buffalo ordinance are still subject to the controversial Equal Employment Opportunity Commission regulations on the Consideration of Arrest and Conviction Records in Employment Decisions Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as well as the more stringent parameters of New York law. Specifically, New York Correction Law Article 23-A (encompassing §§ 750-755) and New York Executive Law § 296(15) make it unlawful to discriminate against an individual previously convicted of a criminal offense or by reason of a finding of lack of “good moral character” when such finding is based upon the fact that the individual has previously been convicted of one or more criminal offenses, unless:

  1. there is a direct relationship between one or more of the previous criminal offenses and the specific employment sought or held; or
  2. the granting or continuation of the employment would involve an unreasonable risk to property or to the safety or welfare of specific individuals or the general public.

When making a determination as to whether the “direct relationship” or “unreasonable risk” exception applies, New York employers must consider the following eight factors

  1. The public policy of this state, as expressed in this act, to encourage the licensure and employment of persons previously convicted of one or more criminal offenses;
  2. The specific duties and responsibilities necessarily related to the license or employment sought or held by the person;
  3. The bearing, if any, the criminal offense or offenses for which the person was previously convicted will have on his fitness or ability to perform one or more such duties or responsibilities;
  4. The time which has elapsed since the occurrence of the criminal offense or offenses;
  5. The age of the person at the time of occurrence of the criminal offense or offenses;
  6. The seriousness of the offense or offenses;
  7. Any information produced by the person, or produced on his behalf, in regard to his rehabilitation and good conduct; and
  8. The legitimate interest of the public agency or private employer in protecting property, and the safety and welfare of specific individuals or the general public.

New York employers should keep in mind that undertaking this analysis is mandatory, a concept reinforced by the New York Court of Appeals in 2011 in Matter of Acosta v New York City Dept. of Educ., 16 N.Y.3d 309 (N.Y. 2011). This means that New York employers can run afoul of the law simply by failing to consider the eight factors listed above, regardless of whether the decision to not hire or rescind an offer of employment makes complete “business sense.”

With the passage of this ordinance, Buffalo continues the trend of some 50 other cities and counties that have similarly decided to “ban the box.” Additionally, some states like California, Illinois, and Massachusetts have passed state-wide “ban the box” legislation, with new bills (some of which are far more aggressive than the Buffalo ordinance) being introduced on a seemingly regular basis. For example, the “ban the box” bill recently introduced in the New Jersey Senate would prohibit private and public New Jersey employers from directly or indirectly inquiring about a candidate’s criminal history until after a “conditional offer of employment” has been made, and would impose additional procedural and administrative burdens which appear to be more significant than those required under the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act.”

 

Originally posted by the law firm of Goldberg Segalla. For more information and to read more visit, http://www.goldbergsegalla.com/resources/news-and-updates/buffalo-joins-%E2%80%9Cban-box%E2%80%9D-club

THAT FACEBOOK UPDATE COULD COST YOU YOUR JOB!

“Study shows that companies have rejected 1 in 10 people between ages 16 and 34 because of something the person shared on social media.”

“Little did Ashley Payne know that the festive photo of her holding both a pint of beer and a glass of red wine would lead to her losing her high school teaching job. The 24-year-old educator posted the image to her Facebook profile, and after a parent complained, school officials told Payne she’d have to choose between resigning and suspension, according to IOL News. She resigned. If those same school officials were hiring and found a candidate with a similar photo shared on the social Web, it’s most likely that person wouldn’t even get an interview.

According to a new report, turning down young job candidates because of what they post on social media has become commonplace. The report, by On Device Research, states that 1 in 10 people between ages 16 and 34 have been turned down for a new job because of photos or comments on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and other social networking sites.

“If getting a job wasn’t hard enough in this tough economic climate, young people are getting rejected from employment because of their social media profiles and they are not concerned about it,” On Device Research’s marketing manager Sarah Quinn said in a statement.

Ten percent of young people said they knew they were rejected from a job because of their social media profiles, yet 66 percent of young people still don’t seem to care that these profiles may affect their career prospects. The majority of young people cater their social media presence to friends rather than potential employers, according to On Device Research. Quinn says that better education on how social media can affect employment is needed to ensure young people aren’t making it even harder to excel in their careers.

Several U.S. states have created laws to protect employees from being fired because of what they post on social media. In January, six states officially made it illegal for employers to ask their workers for passwords to their social media accounts. It’s unclear how many employers have demanded access to workers’ online accounts, but some cases have surfaced publicly and inspired lively debate over the past year. In one instance last year, a teacher’s aide in Michigan was suspended after refusing to provide access to her Facebook account following complaints over a picture she posted.

As for Payne, even though she ultimately resigned, she since has sued the school to get her job back or receive monetary damages, according to IOL News.”

 

Originally posted on www.cnet.com by by Dara Kerr.  For more information, please visit http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57586767-93/facebookers-beware-that-silly-update-can-cost-you-a-job/

JOB SEEKERS BEWARE – BBB WARNS AGAINST INTERNET JOB SCAMS

“As the economy recovers around Acadiana and the U.S., more and more jobs are becoming available on sites such as Craigslist in a variety of different employment fields. But the increase in employment opportunities and resulting jobs listings also opens the door to scammers high jacking the names of real companies to put out job applications geared at identity theft, not employment.

Even as the internet has made searching for jobs easier, it also provides an opportunity for ID thieves and scammers to take advantage of eager—and unsuspecting—job seekers. BBB has recently received reports from job seekers that scammers have used the names of real companies advertising jobs on craigslist.com to place false job applications asking for Social Security numbers.

After checking with the local oil and gas exploration company whose name was used, the human resources director confirmed that the company does not ask for Social Security numbers on their applications. The company was confirmed to be registered in the state of Louisiana through the Louisiana Secretary of State.

BBB and the United States Social Security Administration recommend that job seekers never give out Social Security numbers until they are officially employed by a company. To do otherwise would create a real risk of identity theft, damage to credit scores and financial loss.

BBB offers the following tips to avoid being taken by this or similar employment scams:

  • Exercise Caution. When using social networking sites like Facebook and online employment sites such as Craigslist, be sure to check the actual Web site of the company posting the position to verify it actually exists. If you don’t see it on their site, chances are it’s a scam.
  • Guard Your Resume.  Some job seekers …..”

To continue reading, click here http://www.bbb.org/blog/2013/05/bbb-warns-against-internet-job-scams/

NAPBS OFFERS TIPS FOR SCREENING JOB CANDIDATES IN 2013

NAPBS Offers Tips for Screening Job Candidates in 2013

Accuracy in employee background screening is critical in today’s business environment

Washington, D.C. (November 28, 2012) – As employers begin to plan business strategies for the upcoming year, there is no question that personnel needs will be high on their to-do lists. To help business owners and human resource managers make sound hiring decisions, more and more are turning to pre-employment background screening to ensure they find the right people for the right positions.

Each year, business owners, corporate human resources departments, government agencies and nonprofits successfully partner with professional background screening companies to conduct millions of pre-employment and volunteer background checks. Not only do background checks help employers find the most qualified workers, but they also play an important role in helping employers meet their legal responsibilities and provide a safe environment for existing employees and the customers they serve.

The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) and its members are committed to ensuring the highest degree of accuracy and professionalism when it comes to background checks. To that end, NAPBS offers the following best practices intended to benefit employers and job seekers who are planning for 2013:

1. Be Complete: Conduct a comprehensive background search to avoid negligent hiring. Relying on partial information or information that may be out of date can be as risky as not conducting a thorough background check at all.

2. Be Efficient: Time is a precious commodity especially for recruiters. Look for ways to utilize technology to help create efficiencies. Talk with your background screening provider about ways to improve your process to save you money and time.

3. Be Thorough: As an employer, you have certain responsibilities under the law. Make sure that all background screening practices meet federal and state regulations as well as industry requirements. Be mindful of the new Equal Employment Opportunity Commission criminal guidelines and the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

4. Be Analytical: Consider job responsibilities when screening candidates. Go beyond basic background information and assess job relatedness and business necessity.

5. Be Consistent: Develop a method for a targeted level of screening for each open job position to align with business needs and job relatedness.

Accuracy in background screening is the number one priority of NAPBS members who continually strive to maintain their high accuracy rates. A recent informal poll of NAPBS member companies, including both large and small companies, reaffirmed this commitment. The poll showed accuracy rates of more than 99 percent with a small fraction requiring changes as a result of consumers disputing their reports.

Over the course of 2013, NAPBS member companies will continue to work to refine best practices and compliance information for their clients. The National Association of Professional Background Screeners encourages employers and job seekers alike to prepare themselves by taking advantage of the useful information available on the Association’s web site www.napbs.com and to contact NAPBS with any questions you may have.

 

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About NAPBS

The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) is the leading national resource for issues related to the background screening industry. NAPBS promotes and advocates for ethical business practices and fosters awareness of privacy rights and consumer protection issues. NAPBS is the foremost leader in the movement toward establishing generally accepted and reliable standards for background screening professionals and organizations.

I’M NOT QUITE SURE HOW TO ANSWER THAT…

 

 

ODDBALL INTERVIEW QUESTIONS

Glassdoor.com, a jobs and career community, compiled a list of quite unique and interesting interview questions asked of job candidates throughout 2011.

Here are some of MGO’s favorites:

 

 

  • If Germans were the tallest people in the world, how would you prove it? (Hewlett-Packard)
  • Room, desk and car — which do you clean first? (Pinkberry)
  • Would Mahatma Gandhi have made a good software engineer? (Deloitte)
  • Please spell “diverticulitis.” (EMSI Engineering)
  • How would you get an elephant into a refrigerator? (Horizon Group Properties)
  • Are you exhaling warm air? (Walker Marketing)
  • How would you cure world hunger? (Amazon.com)
  • Is your college GPA reflective of your potential? (Advisory Board)
  • Just entertain me for five minutes; I’m not going to talk. (Acosta)
  • If you were a Microsoft Office program, which one would you be? (Summit Racing Equipment)
  • What do you think of garden gnomes? (Trader Joe’s)
  • Name 5 uses of a stapler without staple pins. (EvaluServe)
  • How many different ways can you get water from a lake at the foot of a mountain, up to the top of the mountain? (Disney Parks & Resorts)
  • Given 20 ‘destructible’ light bulbs (which breaks at certain height), and a building with 100 floors, how do you determine the height that the light bulb breaks? (Qualcomm)
  • If you could be a superhero, what power would you possess? (Rain and Hail Insurance)

See full article at http://www.glassdoor.com/blog/top-25-oddball-interview-questions-2011/