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Rights groups take aim at Target over criminal records

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Employment Background Check,Human Resources

The NAACP and the advocacy group Take Action Minnesota have accused retail giant Target of unfair hiring practices, alleging that the chain unnecessarily rejects job applicants based on their criminal records.

According to 10 complaints the groups filed with the EEOC, Target routinely refuses to interview candidates whose applications show they have been charged with or convicted of criminal offenses.

The EEOC has been pushing a “ban the box” campaign, asking employers to remove questions about prior criminal convictions until after the initial interview. The idea: Employers should assess applicant skills before learning about prior convictions.

Then, the employer could evaluate convictions on a case-by-case basis, weighing the applicant’s age at the time, how much time has elapsed since the conviction and the nature of the crime compared to job duties.

Note: If your application asks about criminal records, consult your attorney. This is a hot-button issue for the EEOC, which takes the position that inquiries about applicants’ criminal histories has a disparate impact on minority candidates.

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