In a recent suit, the Washington appeals court ruled that a background check company is not liable for inaccurate information, unless that info is delivered with malice or the willful intent to injure the applicant.
In Van Hoven v. Pre-Employee.com Inc, applicant Shawn Van Hoven received a conditional offer of employment from Central Washington Hospital after indicating on his application that he had never been convicted of any crime.
The hospital HR Director hired Pre-Employee.com, Inc to perform a background check on Van Hoven. The company reported that Van Hoven had been convicted of marijuana possession and of attempted possession of drug paraphernalia. This report was inaccurate, and was later changed to show that the charge of marijuana possession was dropped. Van Hoven had been convicted of attempted possession of drug paraphernalia several years earlier.
When the background check was discussed with Van Hoven, he did not deny a conviction on either charge or try to dispute the inaccurate information provided. Because Van Hoven had lied (more…)
Employers have a new tool at their fingertips when striving to comply with new federal child labor laws.
The U.S. Department of Labor recently released an updated Child Labor Rules Advisor. It includes the most recent changes to the child labor provisions of the FLSA, which went into effect on July 19, 2010.
The new regulations prohibit youths under 18 from holding a number of additional “hazardous” jobs including working in a poultry slaughtering plant, riding as a passenger on a forklift, using a chainsaw, working as a forest firefighter.
The law permits yours who are 14 and 15 years old to work in more occupations deemed safe, including banking, advertising and information technology, and to work as computer programmers, artists who draw and as teachers. It also implements a work-study program for young people in this age group.
The new regulations also permit youths aged 16 and 17 to operate a machine that rolls pizza dough, or a countertop food mixer.
The regulations prohibit young people from engaging in door-to-door sales, except for a charity. It establishes a minimum age of 15 to work as a swimming pool lifeguard.
Like other elaws advisors, the Child Labor Rules Advisor is designed to benefit small employers and their workers by providing information on various labor topics in an easy-to-use interactive format.
The Child Labor Rules Advisor is unique (more…)
Under the new law, the West Virginia Division of Labor can issue civil citations or tickets to any employer who cannot prove the legal employment status or work authorization of every employee on the workforce. Each ticket will be punishable by a fine of up to $100.
This law is in contrast to the requirements of the federal I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification system, which requires employers to maintain records proving the legal work status only of employees who have been hired in the past 3 to 5 years. In fact, many critics argue that the current federal laws permit an employee hired more than 5 years ago to continue to work, even if he or she was not hired legally.
A recent lawsuit underscores the fact that “An hourly employee with a handheld device such as a Blackberry or cell phone, supplied by the company, is a lawsuit waiting to happen,” according to an attorney affiliated with SHRM, the Society for Human Resource Management.
In the most recent case, Walt Disney World was required to pay $433,819 in back wages to 69 Florida employees. The U.S. Department of Labor determined that between January 2008 and January 2010, hourly food and beverage employees who worked as inventory control clerks worked from home on hand-held devices before and after their scheduled shifts. The federal agency also determined that many of the employees worked during their unpaid meal breaks, again using handheld devices provided by the employer.
The Orlando resort has a specific policy that prohibits employees from working of off the clock, before or after scheduled shifts or during unpaid meal breaks. However, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, managers (more…)
The Utah E-Verify law that went into effect on July 1, 2010 offers some unique benefits to employers.
While the law does not require that all Utah employers use E-Verify, an employer who does so will be able to avoid penalties and fines under state law, if the employer unintentionally hires an undocumented worker.
The Utah E-Verify law does not protect an employer who knowingly hires illegal workers, even if they pass E-Verify using forged documents or inaccurate information. Nor does it protect Utah employers from federal sanctions if they are found to have hired illegal aliens. However, in the past some employers have escaped federal as well as state penalties when they could show a good-faith effort to determine that employees were legally authorized to work in the U.S. Using E-Verify (more…)