The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the community group TakeAction Minnesota have accused a large national retailer of unfair hiring practices that allegedly discriminated against job applicants with criminal records in ten formal complaints filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). More information about this story is available on the Minneapolis (MN) Star Tribune website at

According to the Star Tribune story, the complaints filed with the EEOC allege that the retailer discriminated against job applicants with criminal records by denying them interviews even when the alleged crimes were old, expunged, or irrelevant to the job. The Star Tribune also reported the retailer, Target Corp., has denied the allegations and said they met previously with TakeAction Minnesota to talk about hiring practices. The following statement from a Target spokeswoman was included in the Star Tribune report:

“We explained that Target’s criminal background check process is carefully designed to ensure that we provide a safe and secure working and shopping environment for our team members and guests while treating all candidates fairly. The existence of a criminal record does not disqualify a candidate for employment at Target, unless it indicates an unreasonable risk to the safety and welfare of our guests, our team members or our property.”

While these complaints are only allegations, employers should be careful if using criminal background checks. On April 25, 2012, the EEOC – the agency that enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination – approved updated Enforcement Guidance on the Consideration of Arrest and Conviction Records in Employment Decisions Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The new EEOC Guidance is available at

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. According to the EEOC, the updated Guidance focuses on employment discrimination based on race and national origin, including how criminal record use by employers can disproportionately affect minorities. This greater focus by the EEOC on how employers use criminal records is one of the ‘ESR Top Ten Background Check Trends for 2013’ available at

To help employers maintain compliance with new EEOC Guidance for arrest and conviction records, Attorney Lester Rosen, Founder and CEO of background check firm Employment Screening Resources (ESR), has written a whitepaper titled ‘Practical Steps Employers Can Take to Comply with New EEOC Criminal Record Guidance.’ The complimentary whitepaper is currently undergoing a controlled release and is only available to employers by emailing [email protected].

Employment Screening Resources (ESR) – ‘The Background Check Authority’ – is a nationwide screening firm accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS). For more information about EEOC compliant criminal background checks, visit Employment Screening Resources (ESR) at, call toll free 888.999.4474, or email [email protected].


About Employment Screening Resources (ESR):

Founded by safe hiring expert Attorney Les Rosen in 1997, Employment Screening Resources (ESR) – ‘The Background Check AuthoritySM’– 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 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 [email protected]. To subscribe to the ESR News Blog Feed, visit To subscribe to the complimentary ESRcheck Report monthly newsletter, please visit


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