Listen up employers: the U.S. takes aim at criminal background checks

Yay! Just yay! That’s what I thought when I saw today’s news that the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission had charged two major companies with discrimination in hiring by using background checks to disqualify potential employees.

The EEOC lawsuit alleged BMW and Dollar Tree both discriminated against African Americans in using evidence of a criminal record to terminate employment of workers, many of whom had been employed at these companies for several years.

The federal agency was smart in choosing cases in which the violations appear to be so blatant. Even though both companies have challenged the suits, it will be interesting to see how this proceeds. It’s high time employers were reminded what their responsibilities are under the law, as well as the fact that a black mark in someone’s past shouldn’t define their future.


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2 responses to “Listen up employers: the U.S. takes aim at criminal background checks

  1. James E. Walker Jr.

    Great post, Kathy. The EEOC has provided us a road map, of sorts, to finally make real progress in ending systemic employment discrimination against convicted persons.

  2. Ana Chavez-Maendele

    It is a terrible thing to discredit people from gainfull employment because of a past they have already paid for. The depression,anger and hopelessness a person feels when employment can not be found is awful. I feel the laws of every state should bar information on background checks after a certain amount of time has passed. Common sense should rule, not preconceived notions.

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