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Court lets employer ask EEOC about credit checks

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in Employment Background Check,Hiring,Human Resources

In an unusual twist, a federal trial court considering an Ohio case has permitted an employer being sued by the EEOC to ask pointed questions about the EEOC’s own hiring practices.

Recent case: The EEOC has re­­cently launched an initiative to dis­suade employers from routinely using credit checks as a hiring tool. The commission sued Kaplan Higher Edu­cation for using credit checks to screen applicants, arguing that it has a dis­parate impact on minorities.

The EEOC argues that credit checks often aren’t job-related and their use must be justified as consistent with business necessity.

That prompted Kaplan to request information from the EEOC on whether it uses credit checks in hiring. The judge said the EEOC must provide the information because presumably if the EEOC uses them, that shows they are a business necessity. (EEOC v. Kaplan Higher Education, No. 1:10-CV-2882, ND OH, 2011)

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