I spoke this morning at a roundtable discussion regarding
the use of criminal record information obtained through background checks and
also data privacy and security at a Human Resources Committee roundtable hosted
by the American Council of
Engineering Companies of Arizona. It was a fun group and a nice opportunity
to chat over some breakfast and check out a charming venue in
Phoenix that I had yet to see.
The topic of criminal background checks was fresh on my
mind because I had just recorded a short video on the topic for a new segment I
am including in my blog - Law in a Minute. I figured I spend so much time
writing about social media (thank you, NLRB), that it is time to make the
content of my blog a little more exciting and incorporate something new. With a
little help from some colleagues - voilà - I have some short videos on a
variety of employment law topics. So, when better than now to introduce the
first video: a summary of the main points and best practices from the EEOC's
Enforcement Guidance on the Consideration of Arrest and Conviction Records in
Yeah... that's it. Pretty much sums it up.
The EEOC's Questions and Answers (aka, the guidance for
those who don't want to read 40 pages) can be found here. Two main points to take from all of this: (1) a
blanket exclusion of individuals with convictions (i.e., not permitting
applicants to proceed if they were convicted in the past) likely violates Title
VII - unless there is a federal law prohibiting employment to such individuals
in the specific industry/job at issue; and (2) if there is evidence of a
conviction, an individualized assessment is likely needed that takes into
account (a) the nature of the crime; (b) the time elapsed; and (c) the nature
of the job.
Read more articles on employment law issues
at Employment and the
Law, a blog by Ashley Kasarjian
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