EEOC Issues Guidance on Criminal Background Checks

April 26th, 2012 by JBWK

As we’ve mentioned before, the EEOC has increasingly focused on employers’ use of arrest and conviction records in making hiring decisions. Now, the EEOC has issued formal guidance on the topic. The entire document is available here.

Nothing seems to have changed substantively from the EEOC’s previous guidance letters. Its main concerns are (1) treating arrests less seriously than convictions and (2) making sure conviction-related hiring decisions are job related and consistent with business necessity. It warns that a blanket policy excluding any applicant with a criminal conviction record may have a disparate impact on minority applicants.

It also urges employers to look at the underlying conduct in arrest and conviction situations, and take into account any mitigating factors the applicant may offer.


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