EEOC Issues Guidance Concerning Use of Arrest Records in Employment Decisions

EEOC Issues New Guidance Concerning the Use of Arrest and Conviction Records in Employment Decisions under Title VII
Effective April 25, 2012, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued new guidance regarding the consideration of arrest and conviction records in employment decisions under Title VII.  Importantly, though the Guide recognizes that Title VII does not require an individualized assessment of a person with a criminal record in all circumstances, the Guide acknowledges that the use of individualized assessments can help employers avoid Title VII liability.  The Guide also provides employers with a list of best practices when considering criminal records in making employment decisions.  Three of the most important “best employer practices” are: (1) eliminating policies and practices which exclude individuals from employment based upon any criminal record; (2) developing narrowly tailored written polices and procedures for screening individuals based upon their criminal conduct and (3) limiting inquires regarding criminal records to records which would exclude the individual from the position based upon: (a) the position itself and (b) business necessity.
While this Guide is not an official regulation, as EEOC field staff will rely on the Guide when handling enforcement actions, employers must familiarize themselves with this new Guide.  If you would like to speak with an employment law attorney about this or any other matter, please contact Madeline S. Wirt or Emily C. Bagwell.
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