Employment Screening Firms Can Report Information from Megan’s Law Website

Nick Fishman

I read a very interesting case yesterday that is impactful both for employment screening providers and the organizations they support.  A registered Sex Offender in the state of California sued a background screening provider for reporting such information it found on the Megan’s Law website which led to him getting denied for employment.  He didn’t sue because the information was inaccurate, but rather because he said the company violated the terms of the site which specified that it prohibits the use of such information for employment purposes.

The screening provider successfully argued on the basis on their First Amendment right to Free Speech.  They simply republished information found on a public website.  At no time, did they make a hiring recommendation or decision.  The court ruled in their favor.

According to Jones Day, the firm representing the provider, “In a case of first impression, trial court dismissed the case pursuant to California’s anti-SLAPP law, which prohibits suits challenging an exercise of free speech unless the plaintiff can show a likelihood of success on the merits.”

Nick Fishman
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Nick Fishman

Nick Fishman is the co-founder of EmployeeScreenIQ, a leading, global employment background screening provider, and serves as the company’s executive vice president and chief marketing officer. He pioneered the creation of EmployeeScreen University, the #1 educational resource on employment background checks for human resources, security and risk management professionals. A recognized industry expert, Nick is a frequent author, presenter and contributor to the news media. Nick is also a licensed private investigator in the states of Ohio and Texas.
Nick Fishman
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