New EEOC Guidance And The Use Of Criminal Records In Employment Screening.
CriminalBackgroundRecords.com Analysis of the new EEOC Guidance document, its concerns of racial discrimination in the use of criminal background records and why using a professional third party background screening company can help protect employers from legal action due to inappropriate hiring practices.
Waltham, MA (PRWEB) May 08, 2012
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On April 25, 2012 the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released Enforcement Guidance pertaining to “Consideration of Arrest and Conviction Records in Employment Decisions Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.”
The Guidance document covers hiring and the use of criminal history as part of the background vetting process and provides a clear starting point in the introduction to the Enforcement Guidance.
“In the last twenty years, there has been a significant increase in the number of Americans who have had contact with the criminal justice system and, concomitantly, a major increase in the number of people with criminal records in the working-age population. In 1991, only 1.8% of the adult population had served time in prison. After ten years, in 2001, the percentage rose to 2.7% (1 in 37 adults). By the end of 2007, 3.2% of all adults in the United States (1 in every 31) were under some form of correctional control involving probation, parole, prison, or jail. The Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (DOJ/BJS) has concluded that, if incarceration rates do not decrease, approximately 6.6% of all persons born in the United States in 2001 will serve time in state or federal prison during their lifetimes.” (http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/guidance/arrest_conviction.cfm)
In the text of the introduction, the EEOC Enforcement Guidance clearly defines the potential employment impact of incarceration on various races, specifically Caucasian, Hispanic, and African-American, and, subsequently, advises: “The Commission intends this document for use by employers considering the use of criminal records in their selection and retention processes; by individuals who suspect that they have been denied jobs or promotions, or have been discharged because of their criminal records; and by EEOC staff who are investigating discrimination charges involving the use of criminal records in employment decisions.” The purpose of the report is very clear in outlining how background screening, specifically with the use of criminal records searches, must not be used as a means of discrimination of any kind. Failure to conduct a criminal records search in an appropriate and reasonable manner, as outlined in the April 25, 2012 EEOC Enforcement Guidance could lead to legal actions. Credit/Source: Houston Chronicle.