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Showing 2 posts in Criminal Background Checks.

Thinking Outside the Box: Eliminating the Criminal Conviction Box from Employment Applications

As most employees and employers are aware, a standard employment application normally includes a box or line item for the applicant to document whether he/she has ever been convicted of a crime. In the employment relations realm, however, there exists a growing initiative to “ban-the-box” – meaning that job applications no longer ask about one’s criminal history. More >

New Guidance on the Use of Criminal Background Checks in Hiring

If you are an employer which uses criminal background checks as part of your decision process in deciding whether to hire an applicant, you should be aware that on April 25, 2012 the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued a new Guidance (EEOC Enforcement Guidance No. 915.002) which further clarifies under what circumstances such a practice may in fact be viewed as discriminatory.  While the use of criminal background checks to screen applicants may seem like a colorblind endeavor, the EEOC has outlined via its Guidance when that activity can have an unlawful impact on certain groups of job applicants. This finding is based upon the EEOC’s noted findings, based upon historical data, that different races are incarcerated at different rates, making a prohibition on not hiring anyone with a conviction a prohibition which is more limiting to African-American applicants as opposed to Caucasians for example.    Because of this new clarification on the potential unlawful effects criminal background checks may have, employers generally need to once again examine their hiring policies to make sure that they will not run afoul of the law even if one’s motive in conducting criminal background checks is pure.

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