Race Discrimination Criminal Background Checks

News & Analysis as of

Obama embraces ‘ban the box’ movement

In November, President Obama announced that he was directing federal agencies that they could not inquire about criminal convictions on federal job applications. According to the president, the federal government “should not...more

EEOC Criminal Background Check Cases Come With Big Price Tags for All Parties

One of the EEOC's top priorities has been ensuring individuals are not discriminated against based on their criminal histories. In recent years, it has filed multiple headline-grabbing lawsuits related to background checks...more

EEOC Settles Background Check Litigation with BMW, But Also Faces Steep Attorneys’ Fees in Freeman Case

After several high-profile setbacks in disparate impact discrimination lawsuits challenging criminal record screening policies, the EEOC has entered into a settlement (consent decree) in one of its few remaining cases, a...more

BMW Signs Consent Decree – Background Screening

BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC (“BMW”) entered into a consent decree with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) regarding allegations that they discriminated against African American logistics employees through...more

BMW to Pay $1.6 Million and Offer Jobs to Settle Federal Race Discrimination Lawsuit

Company's Criminal Background Policy Disproportionately Affected African-American Logistics Workers, EEOC Charged - GREENVILLE, S.C. - The U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina today entered a consent...more

Are You Keeping the Records Related to Your Company’s Selection Procedures? The EEOC is Watching...

Is your company aware that federal regulations require that employers retain certain personnel and employment records related to its selection procedures? A recent lawsuit by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)...more

Top 10 Bad Questions to Avoid When Interviewing a Job Applicant

When interviewing job applicants, there are good questions and bad questions. A good question seeks relevant and helpful information about the person applying for the job and about the applicant’s job qualifications...more

Federal Appellate Court Throws Out EEOC Discrimination Complaint After Expert Accused of “Cherry-Picking” Data

Last week, the Federal Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit upheld a district court’s decision granting summary judgment to an employer accused by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) of racial bias in its...more

Sixth Circuit Delivers Knockout to EEOC in Another Background Check Case

The EEOC suffered a major setback on April 9th when the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment in the highly watched background check case of EEOC v. Kaplan Higher Education Corporation, et al. The Sixth...more

A Check on the EEOC Attack on the Credit Check

We have written a few times about the EEOC’s closer inspection of background checks and the use of criminal records in employment decisions because of their potential adverse impact on classes of applicants. The EEOC has also...more

Should Background Checks Be On Your New Employee Checklist?

"Where there's Pepsi, there's music" … is a slogan from a Pepsi marketing campaign. No doubt the EEOC agrees – in 2012, Pepsi paid over $3 million to settle race discrimination claims and agreed to provide job offers and...more

Wanted: Applicants With A Criminal History And An Unprofessional Hairstyle

A combination of recent enforcement efforts by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and state-level legislators has employers scratching their heads about what they can and cannot consider when making hiring...more

EEOC Ordered To Pay Attorney’s Fees and Costs After Bogus Discrimination Case

The Sixth Circuit has ordered the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) to pay more than $750,000 in attorney’s fees and costs for pursuing a frivolous employment discrimination case....more

Sixth Circuit Approves Fee Award Against the EEOC for Meritless Criminal Record Action

A divided Sixth Circuit panel affirmed the district court decision in EEOC v. Peoplemark, Inc., (Case No. 11-2582) assessing fees and costs against the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) totaling $751,942.48 for...more

What You Should Know: EEOC Clarifies Use of Background Checks

In order to avoid potential litigation, employers who rely on criminal background checks to screen out undesirable applicants should make sure they are tailored to the requirements of the job being filled, the chairwoman of...more

U.S. District Court Decision Against EEOC: Use of Criminal Background and Credit History Checks in Making Hiring Decisions

A U.S. District Court judge in Maryland has dismissed a lawsuit that accused a nationwide marketing company of using background checks to discriminate against minority and male job applicants after finding the Equal...more

Dealership Update, No. 3, August 2013: "Do I Have To Hire A Criminal With Bad Credit?"

The answer to whether an employer may refuse to hire someone with a criminal record or bad credit is not as simple as you might think. Two recently-filed lawsuits by the EEOC alleging that employers’ criminal-conviction...more

Criminal Background Check Policies under Fire from the EEOC

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) continues to crack down on allegedly discriminatory employer policies and practices involving criminal background checks....more

EEOC FIles Two Race-Based Class Action Lawsuits on Criminal Background Checks

On June 11, 2013, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed separate class action lawsuits against two employers – Dollar General Stores and BMW – alleging that these employers engaged in racial discrimination...more

Employment Law -- Jul 03, 2013

Excerpt from Supreme Court Sides With Employers in Title VII Suits - Capping off a term of big decisions with employer-friendly results, the U.S. Supreme Court weighed in on two major employment issues in a pair of...more

J.B. Hunt Agrees to Settle EEOC Race Discrimination Case Regarding Criminal Conviction Records

Transportation Company Agrees to Maintain Revised Policy Consistent With Recent EEOC Policy Guidelines; Some 14,000 Employees Affected Nationwide - LOS ANGELES - J.B. Hunt Transport, Inc., one of the largest...more

New Texas Statute Limits Employer Liability for Negligent Hiring and Negligent Supervision…Or Does It?

When it comes to conducting criminal background checks, employers have long been faced with a double-edged sword. If an employer fails to use criminal background checks to screen job applicants, the employer could face a...more

Criminal Background Checks: EEOC Enforcement and Ban-the-Box Update

The EEOC last year took a new step toward attempting to limit criminal background checks by employers. Recently the EEOC filed two well-publicized lawsuits alleging race discrimination against two different employers for...more

EEOC Takes Aim at First Targets since Locking Down Employers’ Use of Arrest/Conviction Information

On June 11, 2013, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed its first two lawsuits asserting that an employer’s use of felony conviction records to disqualify employees and applicants runs afoul of Title VII because...more

Employment Law Update: Background Becomes Battleground

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC or Commission) recently filed federal lawsuits against Dollar General and a BMW manufacturing plant in South Carolina based on the EEOC’s revised guidance concerning use of...more

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