In an effort to provide fair employment opportunities for ex-convicts, Cleveland Mayor Frank G. Jackson has “banned the box” from City of Cleveland job and civil service testing applications by removing the checkbox used by job applicants to indicate whether or not they have felony convictions, according to a press release on the city’s website. Cleveland is now one of only 28 cities/counties across the country to “ban the box.” Continue reading
A letter from three members of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (USCCR) to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) suggests a recent hearing held by the EEOC examining arrest and conviction records as a hiring barrier in which some panelists sought to limit – or in some cases eliminate – the ability of employers to perform criminal background checks on job applicants during the hiring process fails to consider recent studies that suggest the use of criminal background checks does not automatically lead to lower hiring rates of minorities, according to the article ‘Will restricting criminal background checks actually increase minority unemployment?’ from The Daily Caller. Continue reading
In a decision that follows more than a decade of litigation, a federal Court in Michigan has sanctioned the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) – the agency of the U.S. Government that enforces federal employment discrimination laws – and awarded the target of an EEOC gender discrimination investigation, Cintas Corporation, $2,638,443.93 in attorneys’ fees, costs, and expenses. The Court’s opinion on EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION v. CINTAS CORPORATION is available at: http://www.workplaceclassaction.com/EEOCCintas8_11.pdf. Continue reading
A recent case in central Florida involving a hotel worker who was an ex-offender with a long criminal past being accused of raping a guest demonstrates in graphic detail the need for criminal background checks by employers. According to a report from NBC affiliate WESH Channel 2 News in Orlando, the woman reported to police that an employee who lived and worked at the hotel where she was staying used his master key to break into her room in the middle of the night and rape her while she begged him to stop. In the story, the Florida Department of Corrections reported the accused man – who police said faces charges of sexual battery and burglary – had a long history of criminal activity “with about seven trips to state prison” and was most recently released in 2009. Continue reading
Attorney and safe hiring expert Lester Rosen, CEO of nationwide background check company Employment Screening Resources (ESR), has submitted a letter for public comment to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) – the Government agency that enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination – after the Commission recently held a public meeting on July 26, 2011 that examined the use by employers of arrest and conviction records for criminal background checks to determine if the practice was an unfair and discriminatory hiring barrier to jobseeking ex-offenders. The Commission had held open the July 26 meeting record for 15 days and invited members of the public to submit written comments on any issue or matters discussed at the meeting. The letter in its entirety is available at http://www.esrcheck.com/EEOC-and-the-Use-of-Criminal-Records-for-Employment.php. Continue reading
With a bill (H.R. 2501) already introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives and support in Congress building to end discrimination against unemployed jobseekers, Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut), Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-New York), and Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) have sponsored the ‘Fair Employment Opportunity Act of 2011’ (S. 1471) that would bar employers and employment agencies from screening out or excluding job applicants solely because they are out of work, according to a press release from the National Employment Law Project (NELP), a national advocacy organization for employment rights of lower-wage and unemployed workers. Continue reading
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) – the agency of the United States Government that enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination – held a meeting Tuesday, July 26, 2011 focusing on the use of criminal records by employers for employment screening background checks, according to the EEOC press release ‘Striking the Balance Between Workplace Fairness and Workplace Safety.’ At the meeting, the Commission was told by experts that employers refusing to hire people with arrest and conviction records even years after they have completed their sentences may cause recidivism and higher social services costs, but also that businesses face confusing and conflicting laws when using sometimes unreliable arrest and conviction records in making employment decisions. Continue reading
The City and County of San Francisco Human Rights Commission (HRC) will host a public forum on the use of criminal history by employers for employment screening on Monday, July 25, 2011 to consider enacting limitations on the use of criminal records by making job applicants with criminal pasts – excluding sex offenders and those convicted of violent crimes – a “protected” class when looking for work, according to a July 2011 HRC memo. For more information about the forum, which will take place from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. PT in Room 400 of San Francisco City Hall, visit the SF HRC website at http://www.sfgov.org/sfhumanrights.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) – the agency of the United States Government that enforces the federal employment discrimination laws – will hold a meeting focusing on the use of criminal records for employment screening background checks on Tuesday, July 26, in Washington, D.C., according to the EEOC website.
The NAPBS, a non-profit trade association representing the interests of companies offering employment background screening, believes the July 26th meeting “could be a critical step in the Commission’s adoption of policies that could significantly impact how employers use criminal background checks for employment purposes.”
In an effort to bar discrimination against unemployed job seekers in New York state, Senate Bill 5316 (SB 5316) – proposed by Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins (35th District- D/WF/I) – would make the unemployed a “protected class” in New York and make it illegal for employers to deny out-of-work applicants an interview or position solely because they are jobless. In addition, SB 5316 would prohibit employers from posting job advertisements that discourage the unemployed from applying to vacant positions, according to a press release on the Senator’s website. Continue reading