The EEOC may well take legal action over a Pennsylvania company and it’s criminal background screen process.  The potential action alleges record keeping obligations. The records to confirm it’s criminal background screen complies with Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Further to determine that it’s background check screening process does not discriminate against males and ethnic minority applicants. Federal court ruling (EEOC v. Crothall Servs. Grp.Inc). Irrespective whether any one individual has suffered (or will suffer) the EEOC still has provision to sue. It is sufficient the EEOC has alleged violation of Title VII. The case hinges on “agency record-keeping regulation”.

The effects on on any test, such as the criminal background screen, in hiring. The ruling in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania is seen as a victory for the EEOC. Having striven to removing barriers within the hiring process that discriminates. The EEOC guidance put forward in 2012 around hiring criteria. In this guidance ethnicity, sex and race along with how the criminal background screen was applied to same. That being how arrest records and evidence of convictions were applied in the hiring process.

The court directed that EEOC has authority under Title VII to issue the regulation as and when necessary. Asides from the employer in question, all companies must ensure records are preserved and that EEOC has access to records on request. Particularly the effects of decision making on selection procedure. Crothall argued the ‘Uniform Guidelines’ language in respect of employee selection was permissive. Also that the language could not support a lawsuit that compelled compliance.

The time line runs from 2010 when an EEOC commissioner charged. The charge being that the criminal background screen had a disparate impact on Hispanic, male and black applicants. In 2013 a subpoena enforcement action was initiated. The EEOC while attempting to enforce the subpoena discovered shortfalls in their criminal background screen record keeping and the effects on individuals identifiable by sex, race or ethnicity. In 2015 Crothall were sued for alleged violations of Title VII Section 709(c) and further the record keeping rule codified at 29 C.F.R. § 1607.4(A). In respect of the maintaining of records contra regulatory requirements can only be confirmed after discovery.

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