Employers, here are two more reasons to review your hiring practices to ensure that qualified people with criminal history records can compete more fairly for employment in your company. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is aggressively pursuing companies that have a unilateral policy of not hiring anyone with a previous criminal record, regardless of how the crime relates to the job at hand.
Ban the Box is a nationwide effort to remove criminal history inquiry from employer job applications. Ban the Box does not obligate employers to hire people with criminal records, it just affords applicants a better chance of being evaluated based on their qualifications for a job. It does not give anyone an unfair advantage nor does it prevent any employer from hiring the candidate they think is best for a job. Ban the Box also does not apply to positions where a background check is mandated and directly related to the job such as public safety positions and positions dealing with vulnerable populations (e.g., children, elderly).
Washington Post (06/12/13) Mui, Ylan Q.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed suit on June 11 against BMW and Dollar General for allegedly discriminating against black workers using criminal background checks. BMW, for its part, allegedly fired 70 African American workers because they had criminal histories, even though many of them had already been working at their South Carolina plant for years. Dollar General (DG), meanwhile, rescinded job offers for two black women after conducting criminal background checks. It appears that the records for one woman were inaccurate, but Dollar General did not change its decision. Both Dollar General and BMW have denied allegations of discrimination, saying they complied with all laws. The EEOC agreed that employers are allowed to use background checks, but contested that the companies’ practices of not hiring anyone with a criminal record is discriminatory against African-Americans. Seven states appear to agree with the EEOC, passing laws that bar employers from asking questions about criminal background history.
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