Biden administration’s impact on jobseekers, employees, and companies

With the Democrats in charge of the White Home and Congress, all eyes are mounted on how the brand new Biden administration will impact the world—and the world of labor. Thus far, the brand new govt orders have centered on points comparable to immigration reform, the COVID-19 response, and local weather change. Quickly, there shall be new laws and extra federal authorities oversight into processes for hiring and expertise administration.

Listed below are three adjustments to count on from the Biden administration and how they’ll impact employment practices in 2021 and past.

Extra oversight of background test practices

One of many Biden presidency’s early company appointments was a brand new head of the Client Monetary Safety Bureau (CFPB), which acts as a monetary trade watchdog and protector of client rights. The transfer is significant for employers and job candidates as a result of the CFPB additionally enforces the Truthful Credit score Reporting Act (FCRA)—the regulation governing how employers and background screeners conduct background checks and drug screening.

Underneath the FCRA, employers should fulfill necessities comparable to offering candidates with correct disclosures and acquiring their authorization earlier than conducting background checks. The FCRA additionally requires utilizing the most up-to-date and correct background info when conducting background checks. To satisfy this requirement, employers should work with a background test supplier who follows greatest practices for acquiring and verifying background info. Slicing corners on this space for the sake of pace or value places employers in danger not solely of FCRA violations however of expensive lawsuits as properly. During the last decade, employers and background screening companies have shelled out greater than $325 million to settle litigation associated to background test violations.

There are robust indicators that the Biden administration seeks to revive the regulatory energy of the CFPB, which might deliver extra authorities oversight of hiring processes and enforcement of FCRA background test guidelines. As a matter of comparability, the CFPB issued fines totaling $6 billion throughout essentially the most energetic 12 months below Obama, in comparison with solely $783 million in its most energetic 12 months throughout the Trump administration.

Because the CFPB steps up enforcement and points fines extra akin to the Obama period, employers might want to take a recent have a look at current hiring practices and be extra vigilant in avoiding background test missteps and FCRA violations.

Expanded marijuana legalization

When voters went to the polls to decide on the following U.S. President, in addition they voted to legalize marijuana throughout many states. On Election Day, voters in states comparable to South Dakota, Montana, and Arizona made leisure marijuana authorized. Much more just lately, in 2021, New Jersey and New York additionally legalized leisure use.

There’s a powerful likelihood that the federal authorities will observe the lead of greater than 30 states in legalizing or decriminalizing marijuana. In December 2020, the Home of Representatives passed legislation to decriminalize marijuana on the federal stage. If it turns into federal regulation, employers who conduct drug screening of candidates and workers might want to revisit their insurance policies.

Though a federal regulation legalizing marijuana gained’t preclude employers from banning the substance within the office, it is going to immediate employers to rethink whether or not it is smart to incorporate marijuana in employment drug testing. Federal regulation will even probably open new doorways to marijuana-related worker rights violations and the actions employers can take if candidates or workers check constructive for the drug.


Extra candidate- and employee-friendly laws

Legal guidelines to deliver extra fairness into hiring and employment practices is nothing new, however the Biden administration is more likely to construct upon current laws and enhance enforcement by companies such because the Division of Labor and the Equal Employment Alternative Fee (EEOC). As reported by the Society of Human Assets Administration (SHRM), the brand new administration has already indicated “help for a number of latest laws relating to pay fairness, LGBTQ rights and spiritual exemptions, lodging for pregnant staff, and updates to age-discrimination provisions.” Legal guidelines to guard healthcare protection for transgender folks, which might rival these just lately handed in Alabama and Arkansas, may be on the desk.

Underneath the Biden administration, employers might want to step up efforts to keep up compliance with new and current employment legal guidelines. By partnering with a educated and compliance-minded background screening firm, employers shall be higher ready to remain in compliance with the next legal guidelines:

  • “Ban the field” legal guidelines governing when within the hiring course of employers can ask candidates about their prison historical past
  • Wage historical past bans and credit score historical past test restrictions, which search to enhance hiring fairness for girls and underrepresented minorities
  • Paid household go away necessities

Though it gained’t occur in a single day, higher regulatory oversight and enforcement are coming. Employers that wish to be prepared for the adjustments ushered in by the brand new administration might want to put together now to keep up compliance with new and altering laws and proceed to run an environment friendly and equitable hiring course of.

Kevin Neudecker is vp of High quality and Compliance with Corporate Screening and is Truthful Credit score Reporting Act (FCRA) Superior Licensed by the Skilled Background Screening Affiliation (PBSA).