In late April, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC” or “Commission”) approved its “Enforcement Guidance on the Consideration of Arrest and Conviction Records in Employment Decisions” (the “Guidance”). The Guidance became effective immediately and supersedes the EEOC’s “Policy Statement on the Issue of Conviction Records” dated February 4, 1987. Its publication caps a nearly four-year period since the Commission first signaled its renewed interest in the use of criminal background checks as a screening device for employers, holding open meetings on the subject in November 2008 and again in July 2011. The Commission’s adoption of a new enforcement policy on background checks is a part of its “E-Race Initiative” that it announced several years ago. “E-Race,” which stands for “Eradicating Racism And Colorism from Employment,” is an EEOC effort to “identify issues, criteria and barriers that contribute to race and color discrimination,” among other goals. The Commission has identified the broad use of criminal background checks as one such barrier.
The EEOC suggests in the Guidance that it does not represent a significant departure from the Commission’s long-standing approach to criminal background checks dating to its 1987 Policy Statement and before. A realistic assessment of its 52 pages yields a contrary conclusion: that while the EEOC could have more radically upset the existing order, the Guidance will force all prudent employers to reevaluate their policies and will require many to alter their use of criminal background checks as screening devices and to rethink their pre-employment screening practices in general.
Please see full Alert below for further information.
Firefox recommends the PDF Plugin for Mac OS X for viewing PDF documents in your browser.
We can also show you Legal Updates using the Google Viewer; however, you will need to be logged into Google Docs to view them.
Please choose one of the above to proceed!
LOADING PDF: If there are any problems, click here to download the file.