What You Should Know About the EEOC and Arrest and Conviction Records
Background: On April 25, 2012, the Commission, in a 4-1 bi-partisan vote, issued its Enforcement Guidance on the Consideration of Arrest and Conviction Records in Employment Decisions Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e. The Guidance updates, consolidates, and supersedes the Commission’s 1987 and 1990 policy statements on this issue, as well as the relevant discussion in the EEOC’s Race and Color Discrimination Compliance Manual Chapter. The Guidance is designed to be a resource for employers, employment agencies, and unions covered by Title VII; for applicants and employees; and for EEOC enforcement staff.
1) Does this Guidance prohibit employers from obtaining and using criminal background reports about job applicants or employees?
No. The EEOC does not have the authority to prohibit employers from obtaining or using arrest or conviction records. The EEOC simply seeks to ensure that such information is not used in a discriminatory way.
2) How could an employer use this information in a discriminatory way?
There are two ways in which an employer’s use of criminal history information may be discriminatory. First, the relevant law, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, prohibits employers from treating job applicants or employees with the same criminal records differently because of their race, national origin, or another protected characteristic (disparate treatment discrimination).Second, the law also prohibits disparate impact discrimination. This means that, if criminal record exclusions operate to disproportionately exclude people of a particular race or national origin, the employer has to show that the exclusions are “job related and consistent with business necessity” under Title VII to avoid liability.
3) How would an employer prove “job related and consistent with business necessity”? Is it burdensome?
Proving that an exclusion is “job related and consistent with business necessity” is not burdensome. The employer can make this showing if, in screening applicants for criminal conduct, it (1) considers at least the nature of the crime, the time elapsed since the criminal conduct occurred, and the nature of the specific job in question, and (2) gives an applicant who is excluded by the screen the opportunity to show why he should not be excluded.
4) Is the Guidance a new Commission policy?
No. The Guidance follows the text of the law about disparate treatment and disparate impact discrimination. Since at least 1969, the Commission has received, investigated, and resolved discrimination charges involving criminal records exclusions, and federal courts have analyzed the civil rights law as applied to criminal record exclusions since the 1970s. In addition, in 1987 and 1990, the EEOC issued three policy statements on this issue, and it also referenced the topic in its 2006 Race and Color Discrimination Compliance Manual Chapter. Finally, in 2008, the EEOC’s E-RACE (Eradicating Racism and Colorism from Employment) Initiative identified criminal record exclusions as one of the employment barriers that are linked to race and color discrimination in the workplace. Thus, applying Title VII to the use of criminal history information in employment decisions is well-established.
The above information was pulled straight from the EEOC website. The EEOC recently announced its concerns about arrest records being used for the exclusion of job applicants. I wanted you to see their concerns firsthand.
Note: As a reminder, in California it is illegal to ask a job applicant if he has ever been arrested. You can ask about convictions.
If you are going for best contents like me, only pay a visit this
website daily for the reason that it gives feature contents,