Tag Archives: discrimination

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. Continue reading

EEOC Chair Says Criminal Background Checks by Employers Not Banned

In a letter to the Wall Street Journal responding to the June 15, 2013 article ‘Banning Background Checks,’ Jacqueline A. Berrien, Chair of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), denied the article’s suggestion that the EEOC believes criminal background checks by employers are “racist” and that the agency wants to ban the practice. The letter to the Wall Street Journal from Chair Berrien is available at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323893504578555722405188406.html. Continue reading

EEOC Sends Message to Employers that Criminal Records of Job Applicants Must Be Used Carefully

In the Wall Street Journal article ‘Employment Checks Fuel Race Complaints,’ Attorney Lester Rosen, Founder and CEO of background check company Employment Screening Resources® (ESR), says the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has been delivering the same message to employers since the 1980s: “Criminal records need to be used carefully, not with brute force, more as a surgical instrument.” The article, which catalogues the increased scrutiny of background checks by the EEOC, is available at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323495604578539283518855020.html. Continue reading

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Files Lawsuits against Two Employers for Use of Criminal Background Checks

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has 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 Guidance for using criminal records – is available at http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/6-11-13.cfm. Continue reading

Seattle City Council Passes Job Assistance Bill Prohibiting Automatic Exclusion of Applicants with Criminal Records

In a unanimous 9-0 vote, the Seattle City Council has passed a Job Assistance Bill to reduce criminal recidivism by providing job assistance to individuals with previous criminal records. Council Bill 117796 will prohibit public and private employers in Seattle from automatically excluding individuals with any arrest or conviction record from consideration for employment. A news release about the passing of the Job Assistance Bill – which will take effect November 1, 2013 if approved by Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn as expected – is available at http://www.seattle.gov/news/newsdetail_council.asp?ID=13721. Continue reading

Buffalo Council Bans the Box Asking Job Seekers about Criminal Convictions on Applications

The Common Council in Buffalo, New York has voted to “Ban the Box” and make it illegal for employers in the city to ask job seekers if they have been convicted of crimes on applications, according to a story on The Buffalo News website. The Ban the Box measure now heads to Mayor Byron W. Brown for his signature to become law. Continue reading

Best Practice Standards for Proper Use of Criminal Records in Hiring Addressed in New Report

A group of national civil and workers’ rights organizations has released a new report titled ‘Best Practice Standards: The Proper Use of Criminal Records in Hiring’ that addresses the use of criminal records of job applicants by employers during employment background checks. The organizations preparing the report include the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, the National H.I.R.E. Network, and the National Workrights Institute. Background screening industry consultants who helped to develop the Best Practice standards include Attorney Lester Rosen, Founder and CEO of Employment Screening Resources® (ESR), as well as Fred Giles and James Owens of CARCO Group, Inc. The full report is available at http://www.esrcheck.com/file/Best-Practice-Standards-Criminal-Records.pdf. Continue reading

US Senate Confirms New Commissioner of Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

The U.S. Senate has confirmed Jenny Yang to serve in the post of Commissioner of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency that enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Her term will expire on July 1, 2017.  A ‘Senate Floor Wrap Up’ for Thursday, April 25, 2013, the date of confirmation, is available at http://democrats.senate.gov/2013/04/25/senate-floor-wrap-up-for-thursday-april-25-2013/. Continue reading

Kansas City Passes Ban the Box Ordinance to Remove Questions about Criminal Histories on Job Applications

The Kansas City Council has passed Ordinance 130230 – known as the “Ban the Box” ordinance – that will require the City Manager to remove questions regarding disclosure of past criminal records from job applications for employment with the city, according to an article on the Kansas City Business Journal website. The full article is available at http://www.bizjournals.com/kansascity/news/2013/04/05/kc-council-passes-ban-the-box.html. Continue reading

City of Richmond Passes Ban the Box Ordinance Removing Question about Criminal History from Job Applications

The City Council of Richmond, Virginia has unanimously passed a ‘Ban the Box’ ordinance that would to eliminate the question asking job applicants about prior felony convictions on application forms for many city jobs, according to an article on the Richmond (VA) Times-Dispatch website. Continue reading