Potential Risks for Employers and Criminal Background Checks

Businessman-holding-a-red-traffic-triangle-warning-sign-in-front-of-his-head-300x227.jpgToday, hiring has never been more difficult. Traditional background checks such as pre-employment screening, criminal record searches have come under increasing analysis by federal and state legislators. Many states have recently created and added laws that limit the use and practice of criminal records to protect the applicants and their privacy and prevent future discrimination in the hiring process. The result will not only be a patchwork of different laws that can trap employers but also a loss of a very valuable tool that became a necessary part of the hiring process.

The Decision

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued an updated version of enforcement guidance in considering arrests and conviction criminal records in employment which is also called Title VII: The Guidance, which took effect immediately. The guidance shows the employers’ and their reliance on conviction and arrest criminal records which have a great impact on people with different national origin or race and significant changes in sectors that are important to a lot of employers. The major voters agreed on securing employer-friendly concessions.

The Concerns in Title VII

The guidance will crack down on the misuse of conviction and arrest records which is a part of EEOC’s effort and it is due to the growing impact in incarceration and arrest rates for African-American and Hispanics to whites. The guidance will note that minorities arrested at least two or three times at the rate, which is a great proportion of the general population. The EEOC is concluding the national data which supports finding criminal records exclusions have a great impact when it is on the value of national origin and race, which is why the EEOC relies on these kinds of disparities.

The Defense in Job Relatedness

For applicants being screened out by the pre-employment screening in the hiring process which is in the employer’s policies to offer pre-employment screening and an opportunity for every person to have equal assessment, The EEOC stops short in requiring employers to conduct pre-employment screening as a part of an assessment for each applicant. The guidance has repeatedly said that pre-employment screening that does not include any assessment for each applicant is violating the Title VII and it will give several factors in consideration while the applicant assessment is happening. The guidance will also include showing that the applicant was mistakenly identified in the pre-employment screening which is a directly relevant assessments and employment and character references are the less relevant ones.

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