EEOC, N.J. man say Accenture’s background checks are biased

Management consulting giant Accenture faces a class-action lawsuit over its use of background checks on job applicants. The suit, filed in New York, alleges Accenture’s policy of background checks has a disparate impact on minorities.

The EEOC originally filed the lawsuit on behalf of former Accenture information systems employee Roberto Arroyo of Morristown.

According to the EEOC, Arroyo, a Latino, worked as a contract employee for Accenture for nearly a year and a half. Accenture was so pleased with his work that the company offered him a permanent position. As part of the hiring process for the permanent position, Accenture conducted a criminal background check, which revealed that Arroyo had been convicted of vehicular homicide while intoxicated 10 years before. Accenture then withdrew its offer of a permanent job and terminated his contract position.

The lawsuit alleges that Accenture’s background checks illegally screen out minorities by “perpetuat the racial disparities of the American Justice system.”

Arroyo’s attorneys note that he holds a degree in computer science and served with distinction in the military during Operation Desert Storm.

The suit seeks reinstatement, front pay, back pay, benefits and attorneys’ fees, and now covers all similarly situated Accenture employees and applicants.