It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
Federal regulators Wednesday approved new rules that could make it easier to find work for convicted criminals and others who have gotten into legal trouble.
By a 4-1 vote, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission approved the rules for employers who use criminal background checks, calling for careful consideration of how and when such reviews can be used in pre-employment screenings and in the workplace because of their potential to be biased against certain groups, such as racial minorities.
“The new guidance clarifies and updates the EEOC’s longstanding policy concerning the use of arrest and conviction records in employment, which will assist job seekers, employees, employers, and many other agency stakeholders,” said EEOC Chair Jacqueline Berrien.
The changes are seen as a boon for workers who have been unable to land jobs or have lost jobs because of their criminal histories.
Earlier this year Pepsico’s Pepsi Beverages unit settled charges of hiring discrimination related to its criminal background check policies.
The company was using arrest records and convictions to deny job applicants positions, but the EEOC suit charged the practice impacted minority employees disproportionately and as a result was illegal under the nation’s labor laws.
Employer advocates were pleased the EEOC did not entirely bar the use of criminal background checks.
“The new guidance may require employers to tweak existing policies, but is largely a collective restatement of the EEOC's longstanding guidance documents on employer use of criminal background checks,” said Katharine Parker, an employment attorney for Proskauer.
The EEOC does not have the authority to ban “all uses of arrest or conviction records or other screening devices,” said EEOC spokeswoman Christine Nazer. “The EEOC simply seeks to ensure that their use are undertaken carefully to ensure that employment opportunities are not denied inappropriately.”
To that end, she added, the new guidance from the EEOC:
•Focuses on criminal record screening and employment discrimination based on race and national origin.
•Discusses the differences between the treatment of arrest and conviction records.
•Reviews the disparate treatment and disparate impact of such reviews.
Criminal background checks have become increasingly popular in the last few years partly because technology has made it easier to dig up dirt and partly because hiring managers want any tools to help them weed through the many applicants, given the tight labor market.
Once upon a time, employers only used such background reviews for workers who were in sensitive positions where they handled money or worked with children. Today, their use has become widespread no matter what the gig. About 73 percent of employers use criminal background checks on all employees, according to the most recent data from the Society of Human Resource Management.
The update to the rules has been a long time coming for employee advocates.
“The last guidance was written before anyone even knew what the Internet was, and a criminal background check was rarely used because it required so much personal attention to detail,” said Nancy Zirkin, executive vice president of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. “This update reflects the reality of a 21st century workplace, where background checks are widely performed and applicants are thoughtlessly denied en masse.”
Originally posted by fuzzy0087
reply to post by chrismicha77
From what I understand this only helps you if you are considered a minority. Maybe I'm missing something but I too have been denied work. Just last month I couldn't even get a job stocking shelves at WalMart. I nailed the interview and they had me sign a job offer for a position. Then after all that they do a background check and deny me the job solely based on that. You make one mistake years ago and you might as well just off yourself because if you can't even get a job stocking shelves there isn't much you can do. Luckily for me my state has expungement laws that will allow me to erase that mistake next year.