When Can New Jersey Employers Use Arrest Records to Screen Applicants?
by Ramon Rivera on May 8, 2012
New Jersey employers often use a number of tools and techniques to screen job applicants. Among the most common, a recent survey found that 92 percent of employers conduct criminal background checks on some or all of their job applicants. While it is important to find the best employees for your business, it is equally important to make sure you don’t violate any federal or New Jersey labor laws in the process.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently issued updated Enforcement Guidance on the proper use of arrest and conviction records by employers in employment decisions under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII). While Title VII does not prohibit an employer from requiring applicants or employees to provide information about arrests, convictions or incarceration, it is unlawful to discriminate in employment based on race, color, national origin, religion, or sex. Thus, the use of arrest and conviction records in employment decisions may violate Title VII in some cases.
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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.
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