Wednesday, June 12, 2013

EEOC sues two major employers for racial disparate impact from criminal background checks in hiring and firing

The Washington Post is reporting that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commissin (EEOC) has sued two major companies, BMW and Dollar General, for what it says amount to racial discrimination through disparate impact after the use of criminal background checks.  The front page story by Ylan Q. Mui  is here

The action would raise other questions, though.  It could leave poorly conducted social media checks in place, and these can come out even more discriminatory. 

The EEOC does have compliance rules on criminal background checks. 

How could this affect checks made by landlords for tenants? 

The story and the action has an unpleasant feel to it, something like “class warfare”. 
Criminal background checks would be allowed more freely in some jobs, such as those involving handling money or weapons.   It would be a good question as to how it would affect I.T. employment.  

On CNN, Herman and Fisher said that in these companies, new management tightened the rules, saying no one with any criminal convictions at all could be retained, when former management had allowed more lead time or exceptions.  So people were fired, and most were African-Americans.  

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