The government is issuing new guidelines that could make it tougher for employers to screen out job applicants using criminal background checks.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission says the move is an effort to rein in practices that can limit job opportunities for blacks and Hispanics with higher arrest and conviction rates than whites.
The new standard urges employers to give applicants a chance to explain a report of past criminal misconduct before they are rejected outright. It also recommends that employers stop asking about past convictions on job applications.
But some employers say the new policy could make it more cumbersome and expensive to conduct background checks. Companies see the checks as a way to keep workers and customers safe, weed out unsavory workers and prevent negligent hiring claims.
Lakeland earnings surge, set record
Lakeland Financial Corp. on Wednesday reported record first-quarter earnings of $8.6 million, or 52 cents per diluted common share, a 45 percent increase over the $6.0 million, or 37 cents a share, posted for the same three months of 2011.
The earnings are a record for any quarter in the companys history.
Michael Kubacki, chairman and CEO, said the Warsaw-based parent of Lake City Bank has a strong balance sheet and optimistic outlook.
We entered 2012 with strong earnings momentum and delivered an excellent first quarter for our shareholders, he said in a written statement. Were excited by the growth weve experienced in the Indianapolis market, and our northern Indiana markets continue to provide good potential for expanded market share opportunities as our regional economy continues to rebound.
Lilly CEO says losses stemmed by Cymbalta
Eli Lilly Chief Executive Officer John Lechleiter said Wednesday that rising sales of the antidepressant Cymbalta and animal drugs stemmed losses from generic competition, helping the companys earnings beat estimates.
Net income declined 4 percent to $1.01 billion, or 91 cents a share, in the first quarter, the Indianapolis-based company said in a statement. Profit excluding one-time items beat by 13 cents the average estimate of 18 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. The company raised its 2012 earnings forecast.
Revenue dropped 4 percent to $5.6 billion, hurt by declining sales for the antipsychotic Zyprexa after copies of the drug were allowed on the market in the fourth quarter. Lilly has slashed more than $1 billion in costs and fired 5,500 employees in anticipation of the drop in revenue. The company doesnt plan to initiate new cost cuts, and investors should be prepared for several years of declining sales, he said.
Rurban sees fifth consecutive profit
Rurban Financial Corp. has rebounded from losses to earn its fifth consecutive quarterly profit.
The Defiance, Ohio-based parent of The State Bank and Trust Co. reported first-quarter earnings of $972,000, or 20 cents per diluted common share, a significant leap from the $11,000 or zero cents a share, posted for the same three months of 2011.
Mark Klein is president and CEO of Rurban, which released its earnings late Tuesday. Klein has tempered optimism for the rest of the year.