Tuesday, July 26, 2011

EEOC Examines Criminal Background Checks

The Washington Post reports that the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") is holding a hearing today on whether arrest and conviction records are a hiring barrier for minorities. According to the Post article, an increasing number of employers are seeking background checks out of security concerns. Federal policy currently prevents companies from using criminal records to screen out job applicants unless the criminal conduct is job related. The EEOC and other anti-discrimination advocates argue that because African Americans and Hispanics have higher rates of arrest and convictions than whites, they could suffer discrimination if companies do blanket criminal background checks that eliminate them from consideration for a job. The article also reports that credit background checks, which are permitted under federal law, are not up for reconsideration. See www.washingtonpost.com for the full article.