Certain Job-screening Tactics Could be Against the Law
August 12, 2010
According to a recent Associated Press article, that our Anaheim, California employment lawyers have been following, certain reports used by companies to screen out job applicants with bad credit or criminal records could interfere with anti-discrimination laws, the government is discovering as it continues to analyze hiring policies that could discriminate against Hispanic and black workers.
The U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission, the agency that enforces this country's laws on employee discrimination in regard to recruiting, hiring, and advancement, claims that a broad refusal to hire workers based on their credit problems or criminal records can be against the law if it has a disparate impact on racial minorities. An exception to this rule, is if the company can show the practice is job-related and "consistent with business necessity."
According to the EEOC, millions of people who have criminal records are having a difficult time finding work, possibly resulting from companies having easy access to information, because of online database growth, and a booming background check industry. More companies are reportedly trying to also screen out applicants who have bankruptcies, credit problems, or any court judgments--issues that have been rapidly increasing as a result of the recession.
Most companies reportedly see background checks as a way to sort through for ideal candidates to keep a safe work environment and to prevent the possibility for negligent hiring claims.
According to a survey performed by the Society for Human Resource Management, nearly 73 percent of major employers claim that they always check applicants and their criminal records, while 19 percent only check criminal records for select job candidates. When screening applicants who applied for a role in financial trust, nearly half of major companies performed credit checks. Credit checks were performed for all applicants by 13 percent of major employers.
Most companies reportedly tend to be more specialized in examining credit reports, eliminating applicants with poor credit only if they are seeking jobs that are directly involving money, or if it is a senior position. But according to the EEOC, if an employer's process of screening eliminates more Hispanic and black applicants than white, it could be discriminatory unless the employer shows how the credit information pertains specifically to the job.
The EEOC claims that if an employer examines a prospective employee's criminal record, they must also look at the nature of the job, the gravity of the criminal offense, the length of time that has passed since the offense happened or after the prison sentence has been served, and whether the criminal offense is directly related to the job that the person is applying for.
In cities throughout Orange County, California and Southern California, contact Howard Law, PC today.
Some Job-screening Tactics Challenged as Illegal, The Associated Press, August 11, 2010
How Job Screening Can Become Discrimination, The Associated Press, August 11, 2010
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