Avoid a Visit from Your Friendly EEOC Investigator
November 5, 2012
What are labor and employment attorneys around the country advising their clients to do when it comes to complying with the revised EEOC guidelines for employers who conduct criminal background checks (issued in April 2012)? Judy Greenwald from the Crains’ publication, Business Insurance, polled some of the nation’s leading experts on employment background check laws in her article, “Employers advised against automatic hiring ban on people with criminal backgrounds”.
Substantive advice has been hard to come by since the guidance was first released, so we definitely think employers should take a minute to review the highlights below.
- “The one thing the policy should definitely state is that there is no automatic ban” for an applicant with a criminal conviction, said Amy L. Bess, a shareholder with law firm Vedder Price L.L.P. in New York.
- Pamela Q. Devata, a partner with law firm Seyfarth Shaw L.L.P. in Chicago, said she recommends employers remove any questions about criminal history from their application forms altogether and move it to a later stage, such as after the job interview or upon a conditional offer of employment.
- Michael A. Warner Jr., a partner with law firm Franczek Radelet P.C. in Chicago, said, “I would also document in your policies why certain convictions, certain types of criminal history” would disqualify a job applicant, he said.
- “Try to make sure there’s a connection between a demonstrable job requirement, and any restrictions that (the employers) are putting in place with respect to criminal history,” said Marc A. Mandelman, senior counsel with law firm Proskauer Rose L.L.P. in New York.