The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) recent issuance of Enforcement Guidance on the issue of criminal records in employment decisions is important.
The EEOC has long recognized the link between criminal record exclusions by employers and race and color discrimination in the workplace. However, it has not updated its policy statements on the issue until just recently. Criminal records are much more readily available and widely used in employment decisions than they were twenty years ago. And while the Commission’s position on criminal records hasn’t changed, it has finally provided more analysis and guidance to employers regarding the use of records. Significantly, it advises the following: