The Better Business Bureau has warned member firms that the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) has a new policy that puts employers using background checks on shaky ground. Refusing to hire someone with a record could cause problems.
They say it's OK to consider criminal records in hiring decisions, but if you exclude all applicants with criminal records, you would generally violate the employment discrimination law unless you can prove that exclusions were “job related and consistent with business necessity.”
The EEOC says employers should consider applicants with a criminal record in a way that examines the gravity of their offense. The time passed since the offense, the nature of the offense and the job to be filled should also be considered.
Blanket exclusion is discriminatory because of current incarceration rates. They show one in seventeen white men will serve time in prison during their lifetime, compared with one in six for Hispanics and one in three for African American males.
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