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EEOC strengthens discrimination protections for ex-offenders

Seal of the United States Equal Employment Opp...

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) issued a new Enforcement Guidance on the use of criminal history information in making hiring and other employment decisions. This Guidance furthers the EEOC’s strategic focus on eradicating systemic race discrimination, as discussed in earlier blog posts (4/25/12 and 1/27/12). Because persons of color are arrested and convicted at disproportionate rates, excluding individuals from employment based on a criminal record can be unlawful race discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. To be lawful under Title VII, an employment exclusion must be based on proven criminal conduct and must be job-related and consistent with business necessity. In light of the Guidance, employers should take the following steps to ensure that their criminal history screening policies and practices are not discriminatory:

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