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EEOC urges caution on criminal background checks

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in Employment Background Check,Hiring,Human Resources

The EEOC last week issued guidance reinforcing its long-standing view that when employers use criminal histories to screen out job applicants, it can violate Title VII of the Civil Rights Act by having a disparate impact on minorities.

EEOC Enforcement Guidance #915.002 makes clear that the commission recommends against asking applications about criminal convictions on job applications. “If you are an employer, this is required reading for your hiring officers,” said Pamela Devata, an attorney with the Seyfarth Shaw law firm who specializes in criminal background check issues.

The takeaway: If job applications—or hiring managers—ask about applicants’ criminal conviction histories, employers better be able to prove they have a good business reason for seeking the information.

The guidance also makes clear that the EEOC never considers it appropriate to ask applicants if they have ever been arrested. It says knowing about arrest...(register to read more)

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Mike S May 6, 2012 at 12:54 pm

The EEOC’s new guidelines will have a significant impact on employers. Pre-employ attorneys and compliance experts are working to provide answers to your questions about EEOC guidance changes. Visit http://portal.pre-employ.com/eeoc-report.php to get Pre-Employ’s findings, analysis and direction on establishing best hiring practices based on the new EEOC Enforcement Guidance.

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david s. May 4, 2012 at 3:21 pm

Good article. Thanks. Here’s a solid overview of Individual Assessments – demonstrations/info about applicants with criminal backgrounds they can provide to an employer. A lot of factors employers must consider re: applicant criminal backgrounds – not just that they have one: http://hr.pre-employ.com/eeoc-guidance-biggest-change/

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