It's been another zany week or so in the world of labor and employment law, rivaling Groucho, Harpo, Chico and Zeppo. Here are a few items that jumped out at me. (Each subhead is a line from a Marx Brothers movie or the title of a Marx Brothers movie. Answers at the end.)
"Hurry up, or you'll be late for jail!" Pepsi Beverages (formerly Pepsi Bottling Co.) agreed to a pre-litigation settlement of $3.13 MM to resolve charges that it considered arrest records in making hiring decisions, which, according to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, meant that approximately 300 otherwise-qualified African-American applicants were rejected. The rejected applicants will be offered positions with the company as part of the settlement. The EEOC is on record as strongly opposed to the use of virtually any criminal background information in connection with employment decisions. However, it appears that the company was using arrest as well as conviction information, which has been a no-no for a long time, and was flatly rejecting anyone with a "history" instead of considering the impact of the conviction on the particular job . . . another no-no. The company has agreed to revise its employment policies as part of the settlement.
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