May 13th, 2013
About one year ago, on April 25, 2012, the EEOC issued revised enforcement guidelines on the use of criminal records in hiring decisions in compliance with Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The big deal in the revisions was the recommended use of individualized assessments (IA) in hiring situations where a criminal record history might otherwise exclude an applicant (see our May 2012 post on the EEOC Guidance) from further consideration for employment.
A cottage industry has arisen for law firms trying to interpret these new guidelines in the absence of decisive court rulings. The essential problem with IA is that hiring managers are being asked to make objective judgments on applicants based on individual case factors where criteria are necessarily subjective.
Nevertheless, companies should establish clear and consistent policies for cases where individualized assessments are indicated. Not doing so may in itself create a liability – and a documented compliance schema will be useful in defense against some kinds of Title VII charges.
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May 3rd, 2013
Effective July 1, 2013, a recently passed Colorado law will prohibit employers from using “consumer credit information” for employment decisions in that state (with exceptions, of course). The “Employment Opportunity Act” (Colo. Rev. St 8-2-126) was signed into law April 19 th, making Colorado the 9th state to enact such a law.
In light of this law, Colorado employers should evaluate their current background screening procedures to ensure they will be in compliance regarding the use of credit information in employment decisions and the disclosure of that use to the employee.
The Colorado Law in a Nutshell
Here’s the essence of the law: Employers may not use credit-related information for hiring, promotion, demotion, reassignment, or any of a number of other employment actions. Read the rest of this entry »
March 7th, 2013
The Star Tribune reported last week on recent complaints to the EEOC alleging Target Corporation discriminates against applicants with criminal records. The NAACP and TakeAction Minnesota accused Target of unfair hiring practices in 10 formal complaints filed last Wednesday with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
The two groups are accusing Target of denying people with criminal records job interviews, “even when the alleged crime was old, expunged, or irrelevant to the prospective job.” Target officials deny any wrongdoing. Target spokeswoman, Molly Snyder, issued this statement:
“We explained that Target’s criminal background check process is carefully designed to ensure that we provide a safe and secure working and shopping environment for our team members and guests while treating all candidates fairly. The existence of a criminal record does not disqualify a candidate for employment at Target, unless it indicates an unreasonable risk to the safety and welfare of our guests, our team members or our property.” Read the rest of this entry »