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.