by Stephen Woods, Esq., Ogletree Deakins
In April, the EEOC issued an updated “Enforcement Guidance on the Consideration of Arrest and Conviction Records in Employment Decisions Under Title VII.” The guidance, which took effect immediately, has implications for how employers use criminal background checks to screen applicants and employees.
The document summarizes the EEOC’s long-held position that checking arrest and conviction records may have a disparate impact on individuals because of their race or national origin.
According to the EEOC guidance, Title VII violations may occur in two background-check situations:
Disparate treatment—when employers treat criminal history differently for different applicants/employees, based on their race or national origin.
Disparate impact—when an employer’s neutral (register to read more)policy or practice disproportionately affects protected individuals, unless the policy is ...