Our office remains open to serve your important legal needs during these turbulent and challenging times. We are happy to schedule client consultations and client meetings by telephone or video-conference at your request.
Bryan E. Kuhn
Counselor at Law, P.C.
Business & Employment Law Attorney

Denver employers: New EEOC guidance on background checks – Part 1

Denver area employers might be interested in the EEOC’s latest guidance, which clarifies the EEOC’s recommendations on when an employer should not request information about an applicant’s criminal convictions on job applications and in hiring procedures. What all hiring managers need to know is that the EEOC requires an employer to have a legitimate business reason for asking a potential employee about their criminal conviction history.

The guidance, which is the first time the EEOC has issued formal guidance on this topic, also states that it is never appropriate to ask applicants if they have ever been arrested. The reason – the EEOC claims that having information about arrest records is not a business necessity. This latest guidance document is the result of PepsiCo’s decision to settle an EEOC discrimination claim for $3.1 million. The EEOC complained that PepsiCo discriminated against minorities by refusing to hire applicants who had arrest records.

The EEOC has long held the view that when employers use an applicant’s criminal history to screen applicants, the use of that information in making hiring decisions could be a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act because it could allow minorities to be impacted disparately. Thus, it states, an employer needs a good reason to request that type of data.

Now, there are very legitimate reasons for requesting criminal records and performing criminal background checks on potential employees. Usually an employer will request this information to prevent employee theft or fraud and to identify a potentially violent employee. Another reason for requesting such information is to simply limit a business’s liability for the negligent hiring of an employee.

For example, a school district would most likely not consider hiring a school bus driver without investigating that employee’s driving record, let alone criminal history for sex offenses and other relevant convictions. Imagine the liabilities the district could face should it fail perform certain background checks in the interest of student safety.

Because this is a rather complex topic, and this new guidance is the first of its kind from the EEOC, we will continue this report in next week’s post, which will lay out a roadmap of sorts for employers to get a better understanding on when it is ok to request this data and how it should be used in hiring and other employment practices.

Source: Business Management Daily, “EEOC urges caution on criminal background checks,” May 4, 2012

Column Image

“I used the Bryan E. Kuhn, Counselor at Law, P.C. team to help me with a case. They were always professional, upfront, and positive providing guidance while keeping me informed.”
– L.H.

“Everyone at the firm was professional, responsive and courteous. I would definitely recommend this firm if you are in need of superior legal assistance.”
– J.S.

“Bryan and his law firm operate with great professionalism and personal touch. I appreciated the way he and his team offered transparent communication.”
– N.S.

“The team was very professional in helping me to get through an uncomfortable ADA situation at my workplace. This was a very good legal experience. I would recommend Bryan E. Kuhn & team to anyone who needs work related legal help.”
– D.L.

“Bryan, Katie, and all the staff in this office are super fast to respond, expert in their fields, and always helpful. We have been extremely pleased with their services for our small business.”
– T.Z.

Column Image


Bg Subscribe
Contact Our Firm

Office Location

Bryan E. Kuhn, Counselor at Law, P.C.
1660 Lincoln Street Suite 2330
Denver, CO 80264

Local: 303-424-4286
Toll Free: 866-693-5541
Fax: 303-425-4013
Denver Law Office Map
FindLaw Network
Click for the BBB Business Review of this Attorneys & Lawyers - Employment Litigation in Denver CO