Last week the EEOC issued new Enforcement Guidance covering employers’ use of arrest and conviction records in employment decisions. Basically, the Guidance reinforces the fact that employers that use an individual’s criminal history when making employment decisions may be found to have engaged in employment discrimination in violation of Title VII and covers several topics including the applicability of disparate impact and disparate treatment theories, the difference between arrest and conviction records and which is controlling, state or federal law.
So, why are we discussing this in our training blog? Simple – you need to remember that every aspect of the employment relationship, from interviewing through discharge, can be subject to scrutiny on many levels, and that the terms of that scrutiny are constantly in flux. Your policies need to reflect the current state of the law – in this case, you need to make sure that your treatment of criminal history information conforms to the new Guidance, is related to the position and is consistent with business necessity. You also need to make sure that your employees are trained appropriately on your policies. Supervisors and decision makers must know, for example, what questions can be asked during an interview, and how the information obtained can be used. Supervisors must be aware of how to handle the situation if an employee has been arrested or, at the very least, who to go to with questions in such a situation.
If you are interested in more information about the new Enforcement Guidelines, they are available at www.eeoc.gov/laws/guidance/arrest_conviction.cfm. For more information about HRTrain’s products and how we can help reinforce your employment policies, visit www.hrtrain.com or contact our Vice President of Sales, Rena Cohen, at (888)HRTrain (888-478-7246) or firstname.lastname@example.org.