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EEOC’s new guidance on criminal background checks

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in Employment Background Check,Human Resources

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 background check policy or practice disproportionately affects protected individuals, unless the policy is ...(register to read more)

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