EEOC Does Not Have to Reveal Statistical Analysis Used for Background Check Lawsuit against Dollar General

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Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

An Illinois federal judge has denied an objection by Dollar General to an earlier ruling that determined the retailer could not obtain the statistical analysis used in a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) that claimed Dollar General’s background check program kept African Americans from finding work with the company, according to a report from CookCountyRecord.com.

CookCountyRecord.com reports that on Nov. 17, 2015, U.S. District Judge Andrea Wood also overruled the objection by Dollar General to EEOC requests for documents pertaining to the company’s use of a “Desired Behavior Assessment,” as well as credit checks, reference tests, and drug tests during the hiring of potential employees. The ruling from Judge Wood in EEOC v. DolGenCorp LLC is available here.

In April 2015, a magistrate judge granted a request by the EEOC to force Dollar General to turn over documents detailing their background check program. In May 2015, the same judge ruled the EEOC did not need to turn over the “statistical analyses” used to determine whether to sue Dollar General since they were protected by “the deliberative process privilege,” CookCountyRecord.com reports.

As reported by ESR News in June 2013, the EEOC – the agency enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination – filed a nationwide lawsuit against Dollar General claiming that the company conditioned all of its job offers on criminal background checks which resulted in a disparate impact against African Americans who were being unfairly fired or screened out for employment.

An EEOC press release stated that in the lawsuit two employers claimed Dollar General violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act by implementing and utilizing a criminal background check policy that discriminated against African-Americans. The lawsuit was one of the first enforcement action against employers under the revised EEOC Guidance for using criminal records issued on April 25, 2012.

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