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Employers: What’s new in your state for 2014?

New laws protecting applicants convicted of crimes, employees who use medical marijuana and workers’ private social media accounts are among the state laws effective this year according to SHRM. Here are a few of the newest regulations that may impact your screening program.
At least three states passed strengthened their laws protecting applicants and employees convicted of past crimes:
  • Minnesota limits how much a company can rely on criminal history in employment decisions.
  • Rhode Island prohibits employers from asking—orally or in writing—about an applicant’s criminal convictions until the first interview. (There are certain exceptions.)
  • Unless required by law, California employers can’t ask candidates to disclose information about convictions that have been judicially dismissed or ordered sealed.
States have also continued to adjust their regulations regarding medical marijuana:
  • Illinois employers cannot discriminate against workers whose doctors have given them registry identification cards allowing them to legally possess small amounts of cannabis.
  • Nevada clarified that employers do have to make reasonable accommodations for the medical needs of those who have a registry identification card, but they don’t have to allow medical use of marijuana in the workplace.
Social media is another area where we continue to see state regulation:
  • New Jersey now restricts an employer’s access to workers’ personal social media accounts.
  • Oregon prohibits any employer from asking employees or job applicants to divulge personal social media account passwords or user names, to add the employer to the individual’s social media contact list, or to allow the employer to view the employee’s or applicant’s personal social media account.
  • Illinois law allows organizations and their employees or agents to be sued when electronic communications are monitored illegally.
If you have questions about your screening program please contact us today or access our complimentary 50 State Rules Register.