• EEOC Creates Additional Hurdles to Use of Criminal Background Checks by Employers
  • May 14, 2012 | Author: Scott J. Wenner
  • Law Firm: Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP - New York Office
  • In late April, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC” or “Commission”) approved its “Enforcement Guidance on the Consideration of Arrest and Conviction Records in Employment Decisions” (the “Guidance”). The Guidance became effective immediately and supersedes the EEOC’s “Policy Statement on the Issue of Conviction Records” dated February 4, 1987. Its publication caps a nearly four-year period since the Commission first signaled its renewed interest in the use of criminal background checks as a screening device for employers, holding open meetings on the subject in November 2008 and again in July 2011. The Commission’s adoption of a new enforcement policy on background checks is a part of its “E-RACE Initiative” that it announced several years ago. “E-RACE,” which stands for “Eradicating Racism And Colorism from Employment,” is an EEOC effort to “identify issues, criteria and barriers that contribute to race and color discrimination,” among other goals. The Commission has identified the broad use of criminal background checks as one such barrier.