Using Criminal Convictions in the Hire Process: A Hobson's Choice for Employers?
Is the government really telling employers that they are not allowed to disqualify an applicant because of past criminal activity? In a word, yes. That is increasingly becoming the case on the state level and has been the focus of federal enforcement efforts over the past several years, ever since the EEOC updated its guidance on this topic in 2012. This flurry of activity has made what was historically a simple hiring practice into a legal minefield. In short, restrictions on the use of criminal convictions are here to stay and likely will become even more restrictive over time. There is no sure-fire way to avoid a claim of discrimination. By putting the practices outlined in this article into place, however, companies will stand a far better chance in defending the practice when such a claim does arise.