EEOC Issues New Guidelines for Employers. Is Your Policy Accurate?
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission yesterday, issued new guidelines for employers when they utilize background checks for employment purposes. The guidelines simplified and put in writing, what most reputable pre-employment screening firms have known and have tried to impart on their clients since the original 1987 ruling came down.
Employers must show a nexus between the conviction and the position to be filled. The EEOC has also indicated that using arrest information only is not the best idea, because an arrest does not equal a conviction.
The EEOC has been in the news a lot recently, mainly due to the large class-action lawsuits involving Pepsi and Domino’s Pizza. Both suits have alleged policy and law violations. Both have been brought forward by The EEOC.
Pepsi has settled their lawsuit which alleged violations of the FCRA and anti-discrimination laws. Pepsi’s blanket policy of not hiring convicted criminals was alleged by The EEOC to be unlawful and discriminatory towards minorities.
Recent studies show 1 in 3 black males will end up in prison, while only 1 in 17 white males will be imprisoned in the same time period. The EEOC believes that a blanket policy, such as Pepsi’s, will not allow for minorities to get a fair look while attempting to gain employment.
The 4-1 vote by The EEOC is being touted as a huge victory by human rights advocates and the unemployed. That being said, many in the industry that have been involved in background screening for employment, have been attempting to institute a policy or get their clients to institute a policy, based on a case-by-case scenario.
Employer Advocates were happy to see that The EEOC did not bar background checks from being conducted. These advocates advise that responsible employers should have been practicing these policies for a while. Now, with the new 55 page ruling, employers will be more educated and willing to update their policies, for fear of violating anti-discrimination laws.
The simple fact is, there is no “Big Box or Blanket Approach” to pre-employment screening. Each applicant now needs to be treated on a case-by-case approach and employers must be able to articulate the nexus between the position to be filled and the applicant’s background check. This includes asking for information from your screening company, which may not be appropriate to know, based upon the position being filled.
For more information on the ruling, or for free help determining whether your background policy is up to date or streamlined for performance, contactEmployers Investigative Services or call 866-350-5638.