Are EEOC Guidelines for Employment Background Checks Still Confusing?
August 14, 2013
Since the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) introduced new guidelines in April of 2012, employers have had quite a bit of confusion about how this affects their use of employment background checks. With increased enforcement of these guidelines, employers should not only have a solid understanding of what they are, but also how to implement them into their hiring policy. EmployeeScreenIQ panelists, Nick, Jason, and Angela discuss the struggles related to the guidance and provide best practices to help employers remain compliant within the hiring process.
This episode of the Quick Takes Series covers the ever-popular, and ever-confusing topic of the latest guidelines from the EEOC.
For a recap, what are the requirements?
- If a criminal background check is done on an applicant, the employer must consider job relatedness-for example, would the criminal record prevent the potential employee from performing the job well?
- Each applicant should be provided an individual assessment. So if they do have a criminal record, essentially the employer must give them a chance to explain the criminal offense.
Nick also asks the pointed question, What if an employer doesn’t want to hire an applicant, regardless of their criminal record? Again, there’s no clear answer for this. The best option for employers is to have the best documentation possible, but know that this could still lead to an EEOC investigation.
In addition, Jason recommends being as transparent with the applicant as possible. While seemingly simple advice, giving the candidate as much insight as possible into the background screening process will provide a smooth process for both employers and the applicant. Additionally, companies should always, always speak with legal counsel regarding their hiring process and company policy.
The Bottom Line?
Employers, you must follow the guidance, but because the requirements are still somewhat confusing, consult your legal counsel.
Related EmployeeScreenIQ Content:
- EEOC Targets Dollar General and BMW for Criminal Background Checks–Blog Article
- Do Employers Care About EEOC Guidance on Criminal Background Checks?–Blog Article
- New EEOC Guidance on the Use of Criminal Records in Employment–2012 Webinar
Quick Takes is a video series blending together bits of experience and expertise from EmployeeScreenIQ’s background screening experts. With a newsroom feel, discussions surround the latest issues in the background screening industry. All of the videos were filmed unscripted-giving you the opportunity to hear genuine responses from the professionals. Topics range from social media background checks to conducting a thorough criminal records search. We’re releasing a new video every month, so stay tuned.