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June 28 2018

Federal Court Rules That the EEOC Can Mess with Texas in Felon Hiring Lawsuit

A recent showdown between the State of Texas and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has signaled to employers that the Commission's position on the unlawful nature of categorical bans on the hiring of felons remains viable.

In State of Texas v. EEOC, No. 5:13-CV-255, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 30558 (N.D. Tex. Feb. 1, 2018), Texas argued that the EEOC's Guidance directly interfered with its authority to impose categorical bans on hiring felons and to be able to discretionarily reject felons for certain jobs. The EEOC argued that the Guidance had not yet been enforced against Texas, and therefore, the issue was not ripe for adjudication. The Court granted the EEOC's motion for summary judgment, and denied Texas's motion for summary judgment and request for declaratory relief.