Welcome to the LSIS Investigative Journal

Welcome to the LSIS Investigative Journal

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

EEOC Has Plans To Limit Background Checks

EEOC Has Plans To Limit Background Checks

The EEOC is considering guidance to limit the use of criminal histories in employment background checks including a plan to limit employers to a seven-year look back period.

Recently, more than 50 organizations signed a joint letter to EEOC Chair Jacqueline Berrien regarding the use of criminal histories in employment screening.

The letter urges the EEOC to consider the need for thorough background investigations to protect coworkers and customers.

The signers are from associations representing private and public sector employers, human resource professionals, business and volunteer organizations.

They are concerned that the EEOC will revise long-standing guidance that will make it more difficult for employers and volunteer organizations to review criminal histories of job applicants and volunteers.

In their letter, this group of employers noted their full support for equal employment opportunity and their opposition to unlawful discrimination.

They recognize that fair and appropriate use of criminal histories is an important tool to protect organizations and their workers, customers, and assets.

The signers point out that a fair approach is needed to strike the right balance.

Many states require background checks for a variety of private-sector positions and state licenses.

Many states have laws that hold employers liable for negligent hiring and negligent retention of employees with a history of violent behavior that cause harm to co-workers or the public.

These rules are designed to protect vulnerable individuals such as children, the elderly and the disabled, as well as the general public who might invite strangers into their homes for repairs and deliveries without knowledge of their criminal history.