a press release from the EEOC website. The Commission found that the criminal background check policy formerly used by Pepsi discriminated against African Americans in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and most of the monetary settlement will primarily be divided among black applicants for positions at Pepsi. The investigation by the EEOC – the agency of the U.S. Government that enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination – revealed that more than 300 African Americans were adversely affected when Pepsi applied a criminal background check policy that disproportionately excluded black applicants from permanent employment. Pepsi’s former criminal background check policy denied job applicants who had been arrested pending prosecution a chance to be hired for a permanent job even if they had never been convicted of any offense. Pepsi’s former policy also denied employment to applicants who had been arrested or convicted of certain minor offenses. During the course of the EEOC’s investigation, Pepsi adopted a new criminal background check policy. In addition to the $3.13 million in monetary relief, Pepsi will:
- Offer employment opportunities to victims of the former criminal background check policy who still want jobs at Pepsi and are qualified for the jobs for which they apply.
- Supply the EEOC with regular reports on its hiring practices under its new criminal background check policy.
- Conduct Title VII training for its hiring personnel and all of its managers.
- The nature and gravity of the offense.
- The time that has passed since the conviction and/or completion of the sentence.
- The nature of the job sought in order to be sure that the exclusion is important for the particular position.