“EEOC Issues Guidance on Consideration of Arrest and Conviction Records in Employment Decisions”
On April 25, 2012, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) issued enforcement guidance under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended (“Title VII”) regarding the use of arrest or conviction records in employment decisions. According to the EEOC, this guidance does not create new law, but rather explains and reaffirms what the law has required for twenty years.
This Stroock Special Bulletin provides an overview of the guidance, which clarifies that employers cannot deny a job simply because a person has been arrested and cannot automatically refuse to consider applications from people with criminal records. Rather, employers must consider all of the facts surrounding an applicant’s criminal record and develop targeted screens that do not exclude applicants whose convictions are not probative of their qualifications for the job.