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Tag: employment law

Upcoming Employment Law Seminar “From Hiring to Firing”

Oct. 25, 2012

 On Tuesday, October 30th, Julia Ketcham Corbett will be presenting the seminar “From Hiring to Firing: Reducing Risk to Your Business Through Effective Hiring, Disciplinary, and Termination Practices.”  This seminar, sponsored by Jeane Thorne, will provide insight for business owners and HR professionals  into best practices for hiring and firing in today’s complicated legal environment and will assist employers as they assess the potential liability hidden within their established practices.  If you would like more information on this topic or other Employment Law topics please contact us at

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EEOC Releases Guidance on Use of Criminal Records in Hiring Decisions

Jul. 24, 2012

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently released Enforcement Guidance on the Consideration of Arrest and Conviction Records in Employment Decisions Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

The EEOC is charged with enforcing Title VII, which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Persons with a criminal record are not a protected class. However, even facially neutral policies that have a disproportionate impact on members of a protected class may violate Title VII if the policy is not job related and consistent with business necessity.

As part of its analysis, the EEOC considered that African American and Hispanics are arrested at a rate 2 to 3 times their proportion of the general population. As a result of these and additional conviction and incarceration statistics, the EEOC has long held the position that a blanket policy of refusing to consider job applicants with a criminal record is a violation of Title VII. 

The EEOC provides two circumstances where an employer may “consistently” meet the job related and consistent with business necessity standard.  First, an employer can validate a criminal records exclusion for the position in question per the Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures.  Second, and of greater concern for most employers, an employer may develop a “targeted screen” which considers, at a minimum, the nature of the crime, the time elapsed, and the nature of the job, and then provides an opportunity for an individualized assessment for people excluded by the screen to determine whether the policy, as applied to a particular applicant’s situation, is job related and consistent with business necessity.  The guidance goes further in discussing the individual assessments, and advises employers to consider each of nine factors, including a) accuracy of the criminal record; b) facts surrounding the offense or conduct; c) the number of offenses; d) age at time of conviction or release from incarceration; e) length and consistency of employment history before and after the criminal record; f) rehabilitation efforts; g) employment and character references; and h) whether the individual is bonded under a federal, local, or state bonding program.

Employers that currently use criminal records to screen applicants, or are considering doing so in the future, may wish to review their policies with an employment law attorney in light of the recent EEOC guidance.


Beth Serrill Featured In MN Valley Business Human Resources Article

Jun. 20, 2012

BGK Partner Beth Serrill was recently featured in an article in the May 2012 MN Valley Business Magazine in which she provides expertise from her background in Employment Law as it relates specifically to employee termination.  The article, written by Marie Wood, entitled “Practical Tips to Terminating Employment” provides a throughtful list of areas to consider before termination as well as a list of common mistakes made by managers when conducting employee terminations.  For assistance with any Employment Law issue you can contact Beth directly at

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Julia Ketcham Corbett presents at the 2012 SMAHRA Employment Law Seminar

Jun. 11, 2012

Julia Ketcham Corbett presented at the Southern Minnesota Human Resource Association’s 2012 Employment Law Seminar on June 21st at the Best Western Hotel in North Mankato.  Julia presented on “Human Resources in the 21st Century:   Navigating the Tangled Web of Social Media and Electronic Information”

General subjects covered included:

  • Managing electronic documents, including executing litigation holds
  • Electronic Data Policies and Monitoring
  • Social Media Polices:  Should you have one, and suggestions for effective policy drafting
  • Protecting social media assets from departing employees.
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BGK Participates in Minnesota Rehabiliation Association’s Spring Conference

May. 18, 2012

Blethen, Gage & Krause Partner Julia Ketcham Corbett was recently invited to participate in the Minnesota Rehabilitation Association’s “Getting More Informed in Mankato”  Spring Conference. The mission of the MRA is to eliminate barriers and increase employment opportunities for people with disabilities.  Julia took part in a panel discussion regarding the interplay of workers compensation, FMLA, Social Security Disability, and unemployment compensation.

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