MSNBC.com this morning reported the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's approving & issuing new rules for employers using criminal background checks, calling for careful consideration of how and when such reviews can be used in pre-employment screenings and in the workplace because of their potential to be biased against certain groups, such as racial minorities. [ See new Enforcement Guide ]
EEOC's press release states "The new guidance clarifies and updates the EEOC's longstanding policy concerning the use of arrest and conviction records in employment, which will assist job seekers, employees, employers, and many other agency stakeholders.
"While Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not prohibit an employer from requiring applicants or employees to provide information about arrests, convictions or incarceration, it is unlawful to discriminate in employment based on race, color, national origin, religion, or sex. The guidance builds on longstanding guidance documents that the EEOC issued over twenty years ago.
"The Enforcement Guidance issued today is predicated on, and supported by, federal court precedent concerning the application of Title VII to employers' consideration of a job applicant or employee's criminal history and incorporates judicial decisions issued since passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1991. The guidance also updates relevant data, consolidates previous EEOC policy statements on this issue into a single document and illustrates how Title VII applies to various scenarios that an employer might encounter when considering the arrest or conviction history of a current or prospective employee."
BusinessWeek, The New York Times, and Reuters also had articles.