From Cocaine to Criminal History: New Employment Legislation is Here

From California to Indiana, new employment legislation has passed and is pending. Within the past few months San Francisco has enacted a ban on asking a job applicant what their salary history is, while it is likely that the state of Oregon will soon be reducing the penalties for the possession of drugs like heroin, cocaine and meth. Ultimately, you’re going to want to keep your eyes peeled on these new employment laws.

U.S.A *Important to ALL employers **

Revised Form I-9 Available (view new form)

Issued by the Department of Homeland Security, the new I-9 form was released on July 17th, 2017. This form is effective on September 17th, 2017.


San Francisco Salary History Ban (see ‘Parity in Pay’ Ordinance)

Signed by Mayor Ed Lee on July 19th, 2017, this new ordinance bans employers with contracts with the City of San Francisco and their agents (those seeking employment within the geographic boundaries of the city are already affected) from considering the current or past salary of a job applicant. While San Francisco Airport is technically outside of city limits, the ordinance applies there as well. It also prohibits companies from disclosing a current or former employee’s salary history without that employee’s authorization. This salary history ban applies to temporary or seasonal work and commissioned work.

If an applicant voluntarily, without prompted by a prospective employer, discloses their salary history, the revised ordinance now permits the employer to consider that information. This ordinance will go into effect on July 1st, 2018.

PENDING: Criminal History on Background Reports (SB 393)

This pending bill amendment would require consumer reporting agencies (like your employment screening or tenant screening company) to inquire with either trial courts or the Department of Justice on a weekly basis to determine which arrests have been sealed. If sealed, all records of the arrest would be deleted by the reporting agency. This would mean that your screening company would be prohibited from providing you a criminal background report with records of any arrest that did not result in an indictment, information or misdemeanor compliant. If this bill passes, you should talk to your employment screening company about how they’re complying with this law. Moving forward, you might also want to incorporate drug testing into your employment screening process.


Supreme Judicial Court Ruling that Accommodates Off-Duty Medical Marijuana Use (see article)

While this isn’t a passed or pending law, be aware that on July 17th, 2017, the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled that “an employer could be liable under the Massachusetts Anti-Discrimination Act for disability discrimination by declining employment based on an individual’s off-duty medical marijuana use”. Because of the outcome from Barbuto v. Advantage Sales and Marketing, you might want to reevaluate your workplace policies.


PENDING: Reduced Penalties for the Possession of Heroin, Cocaine, and Meth (HB 2355)

HB 2355 reclassifies the possession of several drugs (such as heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine) from a felony to a misdemeanor and reduces the punishments for the possession of these drugs. The bill also expands access to drug treatment for first-time offenders. HB 2355 is currently heading to the governor’s desk, where it’s expected that it will be signed it into law.


The Ban on Ban-the-Box Ordinances (SB 312)

As of July 1st, 2017, local governments (including counties, municipalities, and townships) within Indiana are prohibited from issuing ban-the-box ordinances. This means the Indianapolis Ban the Box Ordinance is no longer applicable. What is Ban-the-Box legislation? Learn more here.

What do you think of these employment laws? Let us know in the comment section below and be sure to subscribe!



Check Out These Other Great Articles!

New Credit Standards PHASE 2 is on the Horizon

Los Angeles Explores “Just Cause” Evictions and Rent Control Legislation

How to get Involved with Multifamily Legislation

Spread the word. Share this post!

Becky Bower is the Content Strategist here at the CIC Blog. She holds a degree in English, with a focus in creative writing, from CSU Channel Islands. Her biggest weakness is cake and favorite superhero is Batman.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.