Labor: The EEOC’s guidance on criminal background checks

There are two ways for employers to show that background checks are job-related and consistent with business necessity

On June 11, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed suit against BMW and Dollar General for violating Title VII of the Civil Rights Act by using criminal background checks that caused a disproportionate number of African American employees to be fired or screened out from employment.

BMW’s challenged policy for screening criminal records had no time limit, as opposed to a typical limit of seven years for reporting convictions. The EEOC said the policy was a “blanket exclusion without any individualized assessment of the nature and gravity of the crimes, the age of convictions, or the nature of the claimant's respective positions.”

Contributing Author

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Marcel Debruge

Marcel is the Chair of Burr & Forman's Labor & Employment Practice Group.  He focuses his practice on representing management in all aspects of Labor...

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