Do you review criminal background information reports about job applicants or employees when making employment decisions?  If so, the new EEOC guidelines may affect how you use that information.

According to the EEOC, there are two ways in which an employer’s use of criminal history information may violate federal anti-discrimination laws.  First, those laws prohibit employers from treating job applicants with the same criminal records differently because of their race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.   Second, even when employers apply criminal records uniformly, the use of those records to reject applicants may still operate to unjustifiably exclude people of a particular race or national origin.  According to the EEOC Guidelines, any exclusion must be “job related and consistent with business necessity.”  If an employer cannot demonstrate that the standard has been met, the exclusion may be unlawful under the Title VII anti-discrimination laws.



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