EEOC Limits Use Of Criminal Background Checks In Employment Decisions

The equal employment opportunity commission (EEOC) has just approved updated enforcement guidance concerning employment discrimination based on individuals’ arrest and conviction records. The EEOC reaffirmed that its illegal for employers to exclude people from employment based on arrest or convictions unless related to the particular job.

This means if you believe you have been denied a job opportunity as the result of a criminal history, you may be able to file an employment discrimination claim.

The EEOC determined that although Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act doesn’t expressly bar criminal background checks, employers may violate Title VII if they intentionally discriminate among individuals with similar criminal backgrounds if their policies have a disproportionate impact on gender, national origin, race or any other protected category.

This decision could affect many workers – statistics reveal that more than 1 in 4 Americans – 65 million – have an arrest or conviction on their record. Further, nearly 90 percent of employers use background checks in hiring. Despite the ban on hiring applicants with criminal records, many companies still take criminal records into account when making employment decisions.

For more information or if you believe you may have been discriminated against because of an arrest or conviction, please contact the dedicated Atlanta employment discrimination lawyers at Buckley Bala Wilson Mew LLP for an immediate case evaluation.