The Basics of the EEOC's Enforcement Guidance

The Basics of the EEOC's Enforcement Guidance
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PreCheck's Vice President of Compliance, Vu Do's latest article discussing the implications of the EEOC's Enforcement Guidance on employers' use of criminal records was published in the March/April 2013 issue of Compliance & Ethics Professional. If you do not currently subscribe to this publication of the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics, you may download the complete article here.

Considerations from the EEOC's Enforcement Guidance

  • The EEOC's Enforcement Guidance affects HR departments primarily, but compliance professionals should understand its impact and ramifications.
  • Before ordering background checks, employers must work with counsel to create a detailed screening program.
  • Employers can avoid running afoul of the EEOC by adhering to the Guidance's best practices and performing individualized assessments.
  • The burdens of complying with the Guidance should not deter employers from conducting background checks, as long as they focus on the relevance of criminal history to the position sought.
  • Compliance professionals should understand how to best utilize background checks as an effective tool at preventing compliance violations.

From The Article:

An organization's employment background screening program typically fits quite neatly in the Human Resources (HR) department as part of the employee requisition process. In some cases, a company may have a Security or Risk department handle the background check function. Although Compliance and Ethics is not typically involved in the crafting of a company's employment screening program, it's a good idea for compliance and ethics professionals to develop a basic understanding and appreciation of the current challenges facing their peers in HR on how criminal history is used in hiring and retention. Specifically, compliance professionals should understand what type of impact, if any, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's (EEOC) Enforcement Guidance on Consideration of Arrest and Conviction Records in Employment (Enforcement Guidance) is having on their organization. Ultimately, compliance professionals should recognize the importance of institutional background checks as a risk mitigation tool that can contribute to an effective compliance program.

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