The EEOC has been cracking down on employers who overstep legal bounds when conducting criminal background checks, which is cause for concern since an estimated 92 percent of organizations use criminal background checks on their applicants.
Two recent settlements make it clear that if your organization has an unnecessarily broad criminal background check practice or policy, it could cost you millions of dollars.
Pepsi Beverages, Inc. agreed to pay $3.13 million and provide job offers and training to revolve a racial discrimination claim. The EEOC claimed Pepsi's policy, which allegedly excluded more than 300 African-American applicants from permanent employment, including some who had never even been convicted of an offense, violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
In another case, Integrity Staffing Solutions reached a settlement when it unlawfully denied a black job applicant employment based on a 30-year-old criminal conviction for involuntary manslaughter. As part of the settlement, ISS agreed to change its employment advertisements and job applications to comply with its policy that individuals with criminal convictions shouldn't automatically be denied work.
So does that mean you shouldn't conduct criminal background checks? Not necessarily. Done legally, background checks can be an effective screening tool to find relevant information about job candidates. But with new FCRA requirements, it's crucial for you to understand the ins and outs of background checks so you can stay in compliance.
Participate in this interactive webinar, and you'll learn:
- Dos and don'ts for vetting applicants, including ways to use social media to legally sniff out information
- Best practices for evaluating arrest and criminal conviction records in light of recently issued EEOC enforcement guidance
- Questions to ask third-party employment screening providers before retaining them to protect your organization from potential liability
- Four steps you MUST take before checking credit so you're in compliance with the FCRA
- What the states additionally require employers to do
- Tips on how to develop a legally defensible background check screening process
- In just 90 minutes, you'll understand the legal dos and don'ts for conducting background checks on employees and job applicants. Register now for this informative event for HR professionals.