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A Closer Look at Salary Transparency Law for Applicants and Employees

On December 15, 2021, the New York City Council passed legislation—as part of a growing, multi-state/city effort to overcome pay disparity—amending the NYC Human Rights Law to now require that employers disclose salary ranges in job postings. This law, in effect beginning April 14, 2022, will cover all NYC employers with four or more employees, and is just the latest in a quickly growing legislation movement to promote pay transparency across job openings, position transfers, and promotion opportunities.

This wave of legislation—which began years ago with California’s 2018 Equal Pay Act—focuses on employee protection by helping ensure equal work receives equal pay. It’s an important effort, as ongoing research of pay secrecy has shown a disproportionate and negative impact on women and employees of color. What’s more, it’s a shift from an employee’s responsibility to negotiate equitable pay, to an employer’s responsibility to create an equitable culture that promotes fair pay overall.

In tandem with growing legislation prohibiting employers from qualifying job candidates by requesting salary history on applications, pay transparency laws requiring disclosure of salary ranges during the hiring process will continue to gain traction across the country.

For your reference—although it’s a snapshot of legislation as it exists today—here’s a quick look at states and cities that currently require employers to disclose salary ranges to applicants and employees.

California: Equal Pay Act
As stated above, California was the first U.S. state to prohibit employers from requiring prior salary history from applicants. California employers are also required to provide salary ranges upon request from an applicant after the initial interview.

Cincinnati, Ohio: Prohibited Salary History and Use
Effective March, 2020, this ordinance prohibits Cincinnati employers with at least 15 employees to inquire about previous salary history. Additionally, pay scale for the position offered must be provided upon applicant request after a conditional offer of employment.

Colorado: Equal Pay for Equal Work Act
Effective January, 2021, Job advertisements/listings now must include pay ranges and position benefits.

Connecticut: An Act Concerning the Disclosure of Salary Range for a Vacant Position
Effective October 1, 2021, Connecticut employers are now required to provide job applicants with salary range information—prior to an offer—for the position(s) they have applied to, or at the applicant’s request, whichever occurs first.

Maryland: Equal Pay for Equal Work
Effective October 1, 2020, this legislation requires employers to provide a wage range for a position to applicants upon request, and also restricts an employer’s ability to inquire about salary history during the hiring process.

Nevada: Equal Pay Act
Effective October 1, 2021, private employers (and certain public employers) in Nevada will no longer be able to request an applicant’s prior salary history during the application process, and will be required to provide salary/wage information for the position following an interview.

New York City: Amendment to the New York City Human Rights Law
As mentioned above, beginning May 14, 2022, the majority of public and private NYC employers will be required to disclose salary ranges within job postings.

Rhode Island: Rhode Island Equal Pay Law
Taking effect January 1, 2023, upcoming legislation will require employers to provide job applicants pay range information upon request during an interview, as well as to employees when they are moving to a new position within the company. Current employees may also ask for the salary range specific to their position.

Toledo, Ohio: Toledo Pay Equity Act
As the second Ohio city to pass pay legislation, effective June 25, 2020, employers are prohibited from asking salary history, and must provide a position’s pay scale upon a conditional offer of employment, or upon applicant request.

Washington:  Amendment to the Equal Pay and Opportunities Act
Effective July 28, 2019, a salary history ban applies to all Washington employers, regardless of size. An additional requirement to disclose salary range information to applicants requesting, or after a conditional job offer is made, applies to Washington employers with 15 or more employees.

We can pretty safely assume that as today’s employers and workers move through—and past—the COVID pandemic, legislators will be thinking not only about economic recovery, but also about further ensuring workplace equity now and into the future. We very likely have not seen the last of new law regarding salary transparency.

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Convenient, At-Home Collection Option for Your Workforce COVID-19 Testing

Although Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the ongoing impact of Delta and Omicron variants continue to impact businesses worldwide, it is very encouraging to see that employers are deeply committed to providing safe workplaces for employees returning to the office.

Here at A-Check, we continue to have near daily conversations with clients looking for trusted resources to help them transition employees back from remote work—or are including “office life” as part of a hybrid work solution.

These conversation regularly focus on implementing ongoing COVID-19 testing as a critical element of return to office efforts. Requiring employees to test negative for COVID-19 prior to an office return—or as part of an ongoing, weekly safety measure—can easily be put in place with a little help from A-Check!

We’ve mentioned it before, but it’s well worth repeating that we’re here to help by providing COVID-19 testing solutions through A-Check’s medical partner network.

COVID-19 At-Home Specimen Collection (With Lab Processing)

Through A-Check’s partnership with Quest Diagnostics, we offer an at-home swab collection option to help diagnose whether your employees currently have COVID-19.

This anterior nares (nasal) swab collection kit, which is authorized by the FDA under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), allows your employees to self-collect a sample to then be tested at a Quest laboratory. This test is used to screen for COVID-19.

Your employees have a convenient option to collect an upper respiratory nasal sample at home using the collection kit sent directly via express delivery at no additional charge to them. Detailed instructions on how to collect a sample are included in the collection kit. Also included in this at-home kit are a prepaid overnight shipping label and envelope that your employees can use to securely ship the sample to a Quest laboratory for COVID-19 testing.

Your employees are alerted when test results are ready (typically within 24-48 hours) and have secure access to the patient-friendly report. Additionally, your administrators can securely review and verify employee participation, status, and results online.

Who Should Get Tested?

While effective testing is essential in helping slow COVID-19 spread by identifying and isolating those with active infections, it’s also critical to make sure tests are distributed and implemented efficiently. Our lab partners encourage their testing services as an option to consider for those who:

  • Are required to perform COVID-19 testing to meet school, workforce, or travel requirements.
  • Are identified by an employer, public health department, contact investigator, or healthcare provider as someone who should get tested.
  • Have been in close contact with someone who has a confirmed case of COVID-19.
  • Live or work in a place where people reside, meet, or gather in close proximity.
  • Currently have symptoms of fever, cough, shortness of breath, and/or loss of taste or smell (typical symptoms).
  • Are trying to determine if a prior infection with COVID-19 has resolved.

We are committed to the health and safety of our valued clients.

For more information, pricing, and to place an immediate order:
Contact Us
acheckorders@acheckglobal.com
877-345-2021

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Compliance Clips for January 2022

GENERAL INFORMATION

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Initiative
A new EEOC initiative will focus on fairness, guidance, and federal regulation compliance regarding artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies used by employers throughout the employment process. The use of AI and algorithmic tools have become more prominent as employers work to streamline hiring workflow, and the EEOC is preparing a mandate to not just provide ongoing guidance against workplace bias, but also ensure that companies using AI tools during employment decisions comply with present and future federal civil rights and antidiscrimination laws.
READ MORE

Employment Advertising in California

California employers take note: A new Department of Fair Employment and Housing initiative will focus on uncovering violations of the Fair Chance Act by using technology to identify discriminating content within employment advertising. For example, The Fair Chance Act bans general “criminal history” statements in a job advertisement such as “No Felons” or “Must Have Clean Record.” Utilizing technology to conduct mass searches of online job ads for statements violating the Fair Chance Act have already led to the identification of hundreds of violations in a single day of analysis. DFEH will continue to document violations and send notices requiring employers to remove unlawful statements.
READ MORE

Michigan Date of Birth Redaction

As previously shared, a new Michigan rule—initially scheduled to go into effect by January 1, 2022—would have begun a process of removing date of birth (DOB) from public facing court records.

This of course would have all but eliminated the ability of background screening companies to conduct background checks for Michigan businesses. At best, it would make background screening in Michigan quite cumbersome and time consuming for both Credit Reporting Agencies and their customers. Fortunately, and after months of negotiation, the Michigan Supreme Court amended its personal identifying information (PII) court rule impacting background checks—creating an “authorized user” approach for access to PII in court records.

This solution is intended to balance protection of personal identity with the need of background companies to access information within records to verify identity.  The court rule will now go into effect on April 1, 2022. We will continue to monitor developments on this issue up to April 1, 2022, and keep you updated as more information becomes available.
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I-9 AND E-VERIFY

Ongoing Extension: Form I-9 Requirements in response to COVID-19

Because of ongoing COVID-19 precautions, remote I-9 document review has been extended; the expiration date for these accommodations is now April 30, 2022.

UPDATE: The DHS is currently exploring the possibility of making the remote document verification option for Form I-9 permanent. This is welcome news as many trend toward permanent hybrid work solutions, and is encouraging that the government is closely following workplace trends and is willing to take a look at updating the Form I-9 process. We will keep a close eye on this and let you know as more becomes available.
READ MORE

SUBSTANCE ABUSE TESTING

Philadelphia, PA

Effective January 1, 2022, new legislation in the city of Philadelphia, PA, now prohibits employers from testing candidates for marijuana as a condition of employment. The law states that except as provided in exceptions—law enforcement, commercial driving positions, supervision of children or vulnerable individuals—it is unlawful for an employer, labor organization, or employment agency to require marijuana testing when making employment decisions. Employers should review their current drug and alcohol testing policies for compliance.
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Montana
Recreational marijuana becomes legal in Montana beginning January 1, 2022. Employers, please note that the new bill considers marijuana a lawful product, and employment decisions cannot be made based on cannabis use during nonworking hours. Employers are encouraged to review their policies regarding marijuana and drug testing.
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DATA PRIVACY

Nationwide

Will 2022 be the year for a national privacy law? Perhaps, or perhaps not, but there are many proposals at state and federal levels to negotiate what key issues should be part of such legislation. Of much interest is focus on congressional efforts in tandem with action at the state level, employment discrimination based on use of IA and big data, and concern in the EU with data transfer to the United States. Much more to come!
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Questions? We’re here to help!

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From our Family to Yours, Have a Joyous Holiday and a Happy New Year!

Thank you for the opportunity to be of service this year. We value the relationships we’ve built with our clients, and we look forward to your continued business in 2022 and beyond.

Please note our upcoming hours of operation:

Thursday, December 23: Closed at 3:00 pm (PST)
Friday, December 24: Closed in observance of Christmas
Thursday, December 30: Closed at 3:00 pm (PST)
Friday, December 31: Closed in observance of New Year’s Day

With warm regards,
Your A-Check Global Family

Featured

In the Know: December 2021 Compliance Clips

CONSUMER REPORTING

PBSA Reports Positive Progress Regarding Michigan Date of Birth Redaction
As previously shared, a new Michigan rule, scheduled to go into effect by January 1, 2022, would remove date of birth (DOB) from public facing records.

The Professional Background Screening Association (PBSA)—an important, non-profit organization established to represent the interest of companies offering employment background screening services—along with many industry allies, have been actively advocating to retain the DOB within Michigan court records as a critical identifier in accurate, comprehensive background screening.

A recent PBSA Advisory reports that the Michigan Supreme Court has officially adopted a negotiated court rule on Michigan redaction on Monday, December 6th, 2021.

Key elements of the rule are:

  1. Definition of what constitutes “consent” for purposes of background screening.
  2. Outlining a registration process for Michigan members as well as requirements for proof of liability insurance. This proposed registration would need to be verified every 6 months.
  3. Moving the effective date of these new procedures from January 1, 2022, to April 1, 2022.
  4. There is a public comment period in the new rule which will close on April 1, 2022.

The adopted rule addresses complaints about the original proposed rule (ADM File No. 2020-26), which would have barred the display of DOB in court records throughout Michigan. We will continue to monitor developments on this issue up to April 1, 2022, and keep you updated as more information becomes available.

CFPB Advisory Opinion on Name Only Matching
On November 4, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued an advisory opinion, stating that a consumer reporting agency (CRA) engaging in name-only matching violates the Fair Credit Reporting Act’s (FCRA) reasonable procedures requirement, 15 U.S.C. § 1681e(b). This opinion regarding the production of consumer reports stresses the importance of ensuring accuracy in the process. Specifically, that matching on name only very likely leads to report inaccuracies because thousands of consumers share first and last name combinations. These inaccuracies, as stated in the opinion, could also put Hispanic, Asian, and Black consumers at greater potential risk for inaccuracy due to lesser last name diversity among these populations. Here at A-Check Global, we take note of these positions and strive to maintain compliant, accurate policies that mitigate risk during the background screening process.
READ MORE

I-9 AND E-VERIFY

Ongoing Extension: Form I-9 Requirements in response to COVID-19
Because of ongoing COVID-19 precautions, remote I-9 document review has been extended; the expiration date for these accommodations is now December 31, 2021.

UPDATE: On Monday, October 25, 2021, the DHS announced they are seeking public feedback on the possibility of making the remote document verification option for Form I-9 permanent. This is welcome news as many trend toward permanent hybrid work solutions, and is encouraging that the government is closely following workplace trends and is willing to take a look at updating the Form I-9 process. We will keep a close eye on this and let you know as more becomes available.
READ MORE

CRIMINAL HISTORY REPORTING

California’s Fair Chance Act and Job Advertising
The Fair Chance Act—known commonly as California’s Ban the Box law—restricts employers with 5 or more employees from requesting criminal conviction history from job applicants (in advertising, applications, or during a job interview) prior to a conditional employment offer.

Recently, California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing has promoted enforcement of the Fair Chance Act by introducing tech efforts to correct violations in online job postings. Put simply, mass searches through online job listings identify prohibited statements such as those prohibiting employment to anyone with a criminal conviction history. In just one day, they found 500+ job advertisement violations!
READ MORE

University of Michigan
The University of Michigan removed questions asking applicants about criminal history from the application process. Inquiries are now part of the pre-employment background screening conducted after a contingent job offer. While answering “yes” to criminal history questions on a job application did not automatically disqualify previous applicants, the question in and of itself likely deterred qualified applicants from applying.
READ MORE

SUBSTANCE ABUSE TESTING

New York
The New York State Department of Labor recently issued guidance to address questions regarding recreational cannabis use by employees in and outside of the workplace. This guidance is intended to provide details regarding common scenarios and questions regarding adult-use cannabis and the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA). In short, New York labor law states that cannabis used in accordance with New York state law is legal—and as such, employers are prohibited from discriminating against employees based on the employee’s use of cannabis outside of the workplace, outside of work hours, and without use of the employer’s equipment or property. That said, there are employer actions permitted, such as when an employee, while working, manifests specific symptoms that impair performance or interfere with workplace safety. Time for employers to review policies and practices to ensure compliance.
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DATA PRIVACY

Nationwide
As more U.S. states—and even the federal government—consider privacy law, notable trends may continue to influence legislation: concern for targeted advertising, further definition for sensitive information, even how GDPR can continue as a key model for lawmaking. Recently, U.S. Representatives have submitted the “Control Our Data Act” privacy bill, which looks to have provisions very much like GDPR—required notice, consumer right to delete information, retention limits, information security measures, and more.
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Questions? We’re here to help!