Q. We are considering instituting a criminalpolicy for all employee positions. We’ve heard scary stories of lawsuits regarding negligent hiring, and we’d really like to avoid that sort of litigation, not to mention the negative media attention. Is there any downside to having an “across the board” criminal background check policy?
A. The EEOC issued new guidance in spring 2012 on this issue. The short answer is that having a rigid, universal background check policy could open your company up to charges of disparate impact discrimination.
Because arrest and incarceration rates are significantly higher among minority groups, instituting a criminal background check will likely have a disproportionate impact on these job applicants. Such policies are not lawful unless an employer can demonstrate that they are job-related and consistent with business necessity.
The EEOC recommends that criminal background checks be tailored on a case-by-case basis, taking into account the specific nature of the job; the nature of the crime; and the time that has elapsed since individual’s conviction or release.
In addition to considering these factors, the EEOC suggests that employers must engage in an individual assessment that permits employees or applicants an opportunity to explain their record and any mitigating circumstances.
Not doing so could have dire consequences. In January 2010, Pepsi paid over $3 million to settle an EEOC claim of disparate impact discrimination.
While criminal background checks are an important part in selecting employees and protecting your clients and staff, be careful in your implementation. You could be so “safe” that you’re ultimately “sorry.”
Like what you've read? ...Republish it and share great business tips!
Attention: Readers, Publishers, Editors, Bloggers, Media, Webmasters and more...
We believe great content should be read and passed around. After all, knowledge IS power. And good business can become great with the right information at their fingertips. If you'd like to share any of the insightful articles on BusinessManagementDaily.com, you may republish or syndicate it without charge.
The only thing we ask is that you keep the article exactly as it was written and formatted. You also need to include an attribution statement and link to the article.
" This information is proudly provided by Business Management Daily.com: http://www.businessmanagementdaily.com/34324/background-checks-how-safe-is-too-safe "
- Georgia CEO says immigration bill doesn't equal amnesty
- How should we handle inquiries about age that we need to conduct background checks?
- Applicant has filed for bankruptcy? Private employers can refuse to hire because of it
- Best practices: conducting background checks on new hires
- No need to get employees' OK before misconduct investigations