Claims Filed Against Target Corp. for Unfair Hiring Practices

Nick Fishman

Employment Background Checks

The NAACP and a Minnesota community group have filed claims with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) alleging that Target Corporation’s use of employment background checks constitutes a discriminatory practice.  The groups claims that Target denied job interviews to candidates with criminal records regardless of age, correlation to job responsibilities and even in cases of where convictions were expunged.

Target denied any wrongdoing in the StarTribune:

“We explained that Target’s criminal background check process is carefully designed to ensure that we provide a safe and secure working and shopping environment for our team members and guests while treating all candidates fairly,” said Target spokeswoman Molly Snyder in a statement. “The existence of a criminal record does not disqualify a candidate for employment at Target, unless it indicates an unreasonable risk to the safety and welfare of our guests, our team members or our property.”

 

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As I have learned time and time again, allegations and media stories do not accurately depict reality, so it will be interesting to see if the EEOC even decides to pursue these claims.  And even if they do, we see too many instances of overzealous prosecution to not reserve judgment and see how the case unfolds.  Besides, look at the cute Target puppy above.  Does he look like he’s capable of this?

In any event, it is important for employers to review their hiring practices, particularly as they relate to employee background checks.

Here are a few helpful tips:

  • Review your forms to ensure that they abide with federal and state laws
  • Make sure that your candidate provides you with written authorization to conduct a background check
  • Eliminate practices which automatically exclude candidates for having a criminal record
  • If a candidate has a criminal record, take the following into account before making a hiring decision: type of crime, recency, relation to job, whether the person is a repeat offender, etc.
  • If you choose not to hire the candidate, make sure to follow the prescribed adverse action procedures 
Nick Fishman
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Nick Fishman

Nick Fishman is the co-founder of EmployeeScreenIQ, a leading, global employment background screening provider, and serves as the company’s executive vice president and chief marketing officer. He pioneered the creation of EmployeeScreen University, the #1 educational resource on employment background checks for human resources, security and risk management professionals. A recognized industry expert, Nick is a frequent author, presenter and contributor to the news media. Nick is also a licensed private investigator in the states of Ohio and Texas.
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