Criminal Background Checks in the New Enforcement Guide

bc.JPGThe Equal Employment Opportunity Commission approved by vote, a new set of rules in the enforcement guidance on criminal background checks. The guidance consolidates and supersedes two policy statements from the coast on the subject; this new guidance will discourage exclusions of job applicants who have convictions and arrests, but instead of doing blanket exclusions, they encouraging employers to assess every job applicant. Employers’ needs to analyze whether excluding a potential employee based on their criminal records and conduct is consistent and job related with business necessity. This new guidance will clarify and expand the range of conduct whereby criminal background checks will have a conflict with the Title VII and will create a greater risk that will become liability for employers.

Enforcement Guidance on the Consideration of Arrest and Conviction Records

After the Enforcement Guidance on the Consideration of Arrest and Conviction Records made by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in employment decisions under title VII of the civil rights act of 1964 which strike a discussion on how employers needs reevaluation on their use of background checks on their potential job applicants. The guidance shows that employers may violate Title VII if they treat criminal history information differently for job applicants or current employees.

The commission noted that an employer’s facially neutral policy can affect adversely a potential or current employee with criminal records and have a disparate impact based on prohibited characteristics like people’s race and national origin. In the commission’s guidance, an employer cannot simply reject applicants because of their criminal records under the employer’s exclusionary policies.

In the wake of the commission’s guidance, employers who use criminal background checks needs preparation to prove their solid reason on why they declined an applicant for those who are looking for the information.

Best Practices

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s Guidance does not mean that employers should abandon their practice of conducting background checks altogether. In fact, background checks are employers’ obligation to their companies and to use them with reasonable care when hiring potential employees and promoting current employees and lead to liability if third-party firms were in an incident, harmed by employees, a lot of courts held employers liable for their employees’ behavior or actions if the employer fails to conduct reasonable background checks into the potential and current employees’ background because of hiring.

ee.JPGEmployers need to create policies and rules for conducting background checks properly, considering both the guidance by the commission and the need to offer a work place that is safe with honest and productive employees. There are employment law professionals that will help employers in structuring policies for background checks under this developing section of law.

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