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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Kristina Taylor
In 1989, Kristina began her career as a customer service representative at the newly formed American Tenant Screen, Inc. Ten years later, she pioneered tenant background screening on the Internet. As a long-standing member of the National Multifamily Resident Information Council (formerly the National Association of Screening Agencies) Kristina gains insight into the trends of the tenant screening industry to better understand the current and future needs of their clients.

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