Paul DeCamp, Member of the Firm in the Employment, Labor & Workforce Management practice, in the firm’s Washington, DC office, was quoted in FastCasual, in “Labor Law Experts Weigh In on Non-Compete Agreements, Sexual Harassment, Drug Use in the Workplace, Overtime Pay,” by Elliott Maras.

Following is an excerpt:

Legislative and regulatory initiatives restrict what employers can ask job applicants, and many employers are not aware that they can be subject to penalties for asking questions about criminal records, salary history and credit history. Angelo Amador, executive director of Restaurant Law, and Paul DeCamp, a partner in the Epstein, Becker and Green PC law firm, explained how employer liability has changed in recent years during the National Restaurant Show in Chicago.

In addition to questions employers can no longer ask applicants, the employment law experts discussed non-compete agreements, changes related to sexual harassment, drug use in the workplace and overtime pay.

Aspects of employee’s history off the table

The speakers’ first suggestion is not to ask job applicants for any history regarding pay, criminal activity or credit.

Approximately 15 states and 12 cities specifically do now allow employers to ask an applicant’s pay history, DeCamp said. Employers can ask about the applicant’s pay expectations, as well as deferred compensation and offers from other employers, he said.

States are also prohibiting employers from asking applicants about their criminal history, he said. However, the employer can ask about this once a conditional employment offer has been made, depending on the particular jurisdiction.

“You need to ask if your local law allows it,” Amador said.

The federal government excuses itself from this restriction, Amador noted, as government job applications do ask questions about the applicant’s criminal history.

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