EEOC Guidance on Criminal Records Focuses on Employment Discrimination during Background Checks

In April 2012, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) – the agency that enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination – voted to update the Enforcement Guidance on the Consideration of Arrest and Conviction Records in Employment Decisions Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The updated Guidance, which focuses on employment discrimination based on race and national origin, is available at http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/guidance/arrest_conviction.cfm.

In June 2013, the EEOC filed lawsuits against two employers alleging they violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act by implementing and utilizing a criminal background check policy that resulted in employees being fired or screened out for employment. A press release about the lawsuits – the first enforcement action against employers under the revised EEOC Enforcement Guidance for using criminal records – is available at http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/6-11-13.cfm.

“Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination against job applicants and employees on account of their race,” EEOC Chair Jacqueline A. Berrien stated in the press release.  “Since issuing its first written policy guidance in the 1980s regarding the use of arrest and conviction records in employment decisions, the EEOC has advised employers that under certain circumstances, their use of that information to deny employment opportunities could be at odds with Title VII.”

The EEOC enforces Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. The Enforcement Guidance is part of the EEOC’s efforts to eliminate unlawful discrimination in employment screening, hiring, or retention. The EEOC originally issued three separate policy documents in February and July 1987 and in September 1990 explaining when the use of arrest and conviction records in employment decisions may violate Title VII.

This greater focus by the EEOC on how employers use criminal records is one of the trends on the 6th Annual ‘ESR Top Ten Background Check Trends for 2013’ selected by Attorney Lester Rosen, Founder and CEO of Employment Screening Resources® (ESR). The full list of trends is available at http://www.esrcheck.com/Top-Ten-Background-Check-Trends-for-2013.php. For more information about Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – ‘The Background Check Authority®’ – visit http://www.esrcheck.com or call Toll Free 888.999.4474.

Sources:

http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/guidance/arrest_conviction.cfm

http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/6-11-13.cfm

About Employment Screening Resources® (ESR):

Founded by safe hiring expert Attorney Les Rosen in 1997, Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – ‘The Background Check Authority®’– provides accurate and actionable information that empowers employers to make informed hiring decisions for the benefit of their organizations, employees, and the public. CEO Rosen literally wrote the book on background checks with “The Safe Hiring Manual” and ESR is accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS), a distinction held by a small percent of screening firms. Employers choosing ESR know they have selected an agency meeting the highest industry standards. To learn more about ESR, visit http://www.esrcheck.com or call toll free 888.999.4474.

About ESR News: 

The Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) News blog – ESR News – provides employment screening information for employers, recruiters, and jobseekers on a variety of topics including credit reports, criminal records, data privacy, discrimination, E-Verify, jobs reports, legal updates, negligent hiring, workplace violence, and use of search engines and social network sites for background checks. For more information about ESR News or to send comments or questions, please email ESR News Editor Thomas Ahearn at tahearn@esrcheck.com. To subscribe to the ESR News Blog Feed, visit http://www.esrcheck.com/wordpress/feed/. To subscribe to the complimentary ESRcheck Report monthly newsletter, please visit http://www.esrcheck.com/Newsletter/.