The EEOC or Equal Employment Opportunity Commission enforces federal laws prohibiting discrimination in the workplace. The EEOC protects candidates from employment discrimination when it involves harassment, discrimination of EEOC advocates or any others fighting for equal employment opportunity, and unfair treatment because of your race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information.
In the summer of 2009 a spokesperson for the EEOC stated that “A blanket refusal to hire workers based on criminal records or credit problems can be illegal if it has a disparate impact on racial minorities.” While this is nothing new, Carol Miaskoff, assistant legal counsel at the EEOC, along with many other representatives of the EEOC believe “the problem is snowballing because of the technology allowing these checks to be done with a fair amount of ease”
Consequently, the EEOC’s belief that the problem is getting worse is directly related to the growing number of cases regarding this type of assertion. Wal-Mart, Sears, Target, and Home Depot have all recently been forced to defend their hiring methods based on these claims.
While large corporations have hordes of lawyers ready to defend, and loads of cash to throw at these situations, you may not. Smaller corporations and businesses have felt the real substance of the EEOC’s crackdown regarding the acquisition and use of public information through the cost and liability from the misuse of public records, the accessibility and restriction of public information, and changes in public information policies. All of which you are safe from, if you have a lawyer to write your hiring standards; however most of us do not! As employers, we are advised to consider the opportunity nature, relevance of the offense to the opportunity, seriousness of the offense, and how long ago the offense happened; nevertheless, without assistance or guidelines, this is still subjective. Without staffing assistance or hiring guidelines, business owners are forced to decide for their selves questions such as: “how long ago is long enough?”, “how serious is too serious?”, and “how relevant is relevant enough?”
imatters blog provides great information and articles to keep your hiring process objective and fair! Our recruiters here are constantly updated with the latest information regarding equal employment opportunities and support it to the fullest!