The new guidance does not restrict or eliminate background checks.
Athens, Georgia (PRWEB) March 26, 2013
The EEOC issued new guidance that may have employers asking if they are allowed to continue using background screening and if they are now required to hire felons and ex-cons. iReviewNow (http://www.securtest.com/) and SecurTest wants to calm employers' fears and suggests they utilize a proven tool to conduct pre-hire background checks that comply with EEOC and FCRA demands.
Through the guidance, EEOC is reaffirming that using an applicant’s criminal history to influence a hiring decision may violate Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. They warn business owners not to weight criminal history differently for different racial groups, and that even a neutral policy for assessing applicants’ criminal history may disadvantage certain racial groups.
“The EEOC, among others, want people with criminal records to have a path of a second chance at employment to stem the tide of tax dollars being spent on warehousing prisoners. Where an ex-con has no hope of employability, he is more likely to return to a life of crime. The Commission is also concerned about discrimination against racial minorities,” said Steven C. Millwee of SecurTest (http://www.securtest.com/2012/services/) and inventor of iReviewNow.
Employers must balance this new directive against existing obligations to protect their employees, customers and the public.
Federal and state courts have consistently held employers liable for negligent hiring when an employee becomes violent on-the-job, points out Millwee. Worse, workplace violence is the leading cause of death for women at work, and the third leading cause for men. iReviewNow has heard from concerned employers, worried the new EEOC rules conflict with other state and federal laws, and expose their organizations to multi-million dollar jury verdicts.
Millwee says employers do not have to abandon new employee screening in light of the EEOC directive. Peggy Mastroianni, Legal Counsel for the EEOC agrees with Millwee. “Like the guidance issued 25 years earlier, the updated guidance is based on the premise that employers can best manage the risk of crime in the workplace by screening applicants or employees in a targeted and fact-based way,”says Mastroianni (“There's No Peril in Following EEOC's Hiring Guidance”, a letter to the Wall Street Journal editor.)
“The new guidance does not restrict or eliminate background checks, nor does it force employers to hire unfit candidates with a conviction history. The EEOC does not have the authority to prohibit employers from obtaining or using arrest or conviction records. The EEOC simply seeks to ensure that such information is not used in a discriminatory way,” said Millwee.
There are two ways in which an employer's use of criminal history information may be discriminatory. First, under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, prohibits employers from treating job applicants or employees with the same criminal records differently because of their race, national origin, or another protected characteristic (disparate treatment discrimination.) Second, the employer has to show that the exclusions for employment are "job related and consistent with business necessity under Title VII to avoid liability.
Proving that exclusion is "job related and consistent with business necessity" need not be burdensome using the “Four-Prong Test”. The employer can make this showing if, in screening applicants for criminal convictions, it (1) considers at least the nature of the crime, (2) the time elapsed since the criminal conduct occurred, (3) the nature of the specific job in question, and (4) gives an applicant who is excluded by the background check the opportunity to show why he should not be excluded.
iReviewNow, the only patented background screening solution, helps solve the issues raised in the new EEOC and FCRA guidelines, as it systematically applies the “Four-Prong Test”. It ensures applicants and employees are treated fairly. It importantly mitigates the legal landmines in screening applicants, employees, and consumers by allowing the subject instant access to his background report. Disputes over inaccuracies and the ability to explain self-rehabilitation through iReviewNow eliminate claims of damages.
“Employers must know who they hire, as relevant past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior. Background checks are essential to making informed hiring decisions;” Millwee said.
Understanding the reasons for the increasing number of class-action lawsuits over inaccurate background reports, applying the new EEOC and FCRA guidelines, and iReviewNow will help keep businesses from stepping on avoidable legal landmines.
About Steven C. Millwee, CPP: Mr. Millwee is a highly regarded expert witness with more than 34 years of experience testifying in high-profile cases impacting background screening, human resources, hiring practices, and workplace violence. Millwee invented and patented iReviewNow, which is rapidly become the de facto standard in screening, as it protects employers from EEOC and FCRA litigation. Formerly with the FBI and a former unsolved murder detective, he is the president and CEO of SecurTest, Inc., the #1 Background Screening Provider, according to HRO Today, and one of the largest background-screening providers for the U.S. Military and other government branches. In 2002 he served as president of ASIS International, the leading professional society for security professionals, which is akin to the American Medical Association for physicians. He can be reached at management(at)securtest(dot)com or (800) 445-8001.