Hiring Regulations That Every Employer Should Know

Remaining compliant with labor and employment regulations is crucial to the success of every pest management business, whether big or small. Failing to adhere to these ever-changing laws can result in a damaged reputation and significant financial loss from potential lawsuits. Unfortunately, this is one area of business operations where it can be challenging to keep up.

As we enter a new year, it is inevitable that new laws pertaining to hiring practices will be implemented primarily at the state level, while those already in place may be updated. QualityPro, the only recognized and accepted credentialing authority of the pest management industry, encourages companies to pay special attention to the following two regulations, especially as peak hiring (and pest) season kicks into full gear.

Criminal Conviction

Did you know that there are specific limits pertaining to the use of criminal records in employment? According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), federal law does not prohibit employers from asking about criminal history, but state and local laws may bar the common hiring practice.
Today, more than 45 states and cities have laws in place that prohibit employers from asking about arrest records on employment applications or require them to wait until late in the hiring process to inquire about criminal conviction. New York City, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Boston and Chicago are among the big cities that have “banned the box.”

The “Ban the Box” civil rights movement picked up steam in 2012 when the EEOC updated its Enforcement Guidance on the Consideration of Arrest and Conviction Records in Employment Decisions Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which seeks to ensure that criminal history information is not used in a discriminatory way. In the same year, the commission investigated Pepsi Beverages for possible hiring discrimination and found that the company’s use of criminal background checks discriminated based on race. As a result, Pepsi Beverages agreed to pay $3.13 million and provide job offers and training to applicants, according to an EEOC press release.

To prevent a similar issue from occurring in the pest management industry, transparency is best. Companies should forgo asking criminal conviction questions on employment applications but let prospective employees know that a criminal background check will be part of the hiring process. Knowing this may deter some job seekers from applying, saving everyone time. Once a conditional job offer has been made, conduct a criminal background check on the prospective employee. NPMA members receive a discount on background checks from Reference Services. If the background check reveals anything suspect, call Seay Management Associates, NPMA’s member benefit human resources consulting firm, to talk through the employment decision.

Compensation History

The question about compensation history in an employment application has long been dreaded by job applicants. However, employers continue to ask it because it provides them with valuable insights into the pay expectations of potential candidates and allows them to determine a fair compensation for new hires based on experience and qualifications.

Until recently, asking about compensation history was an acceptable part of any interview process. In 2017, however, many states considered measures that would prohibit employers from asking the question, and some even banned it. Today, more than 15 states and localities have passed laws that address this specific hiring practice with Oregon, Connecticut and Hawaii expected to join the growing list early this year.

Pest management companies that do business in the locations impacted by this regulation should remove any questions dealing with pay history from employment applications and refrain from asking candidates about previous compensation during the interview process. Seay Management Consultants notes that refraining from asking for compensation history has become a trend that is expected to spread. The firm states that the trend “underlines and emphasizes the importance of every employer having a comprehensive Compensation Management and Administration Program, complete with job descriptions, job evaluation, pay grades with minimums and maximums, and a performance evaluation system, on which to base pay rates that are fair, equitable and competitive.”

NPMA member companies have access to Seay Management Consultants for professional consultation and advice related to compensation plans and other human resources topics like hiring decisions, terminations, layoffs, overtime, etc. Furthermore, the firm is available to QualityPro accredited companies to provide the guidance needed to ensure adherence to the 16 QualityPro standards and compliance with state and federal employment regulations. This is one of the many benefits that come with QualityPro accreditation. To learn more about QualityPro or apply, visit NPMAQualityPro.org.

By Allison Allen, BCE, Executive Director, QualityPro

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