Background Checks Lead to Charges of Racism

Posted by Kristina Taylor
June 16, 2013

Background Checks Lead to Charges of Racism

Last week, the EEOC filed two complaints against Dollar General and BMW, claiming the companies discriminated against black job applicants following employee criminal background screenings.

Currently, EEOC guidelines encourage employers to make several considerations with information received from a criminal background check. They ask that companies consider individual circumstances such as when the crime was committed, the severity of a charges, and if the candidate was convicted.

Dollar General is accused of disqualifying applicants with a criminal background history regardless the severity of the crime or length of time since charges were levied.

BMW is accused of discriminating against black workers after a newly implemented background sweep resulted in 88 employees being let go. Seventy of those employees, or 80% of them, were black.

The EEOC requires that employers determine whether or not a person’s previous conviction is in any way a threat to an employer’s business practices. For example, a job applicant who has been convicted of stealing can be denied a position working with money.

In the cases filed against Dollar General and BMW, the EEOC claims those companies did not have sufficient reason to terminate or deny employment to individuals based on information obtained in the background screenings.

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