Attorneys acting for BMW have requested that a two year old lawsuit in relation to civil rights be dismissed. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission puts forward that the dismissals of 100 employees contracted at the manufacturing plant following criminal records screening caused a “disparate effect” on black employees (58 in total). Further to a hearing on Monday and a filing dated 20th July a bench trial will not happen prior to September 29th.

The EEOC has contended that the policy denying access to contractors and employees with criminal records is in violation of The Civil Rights Act of 1964 while also discriminating against blacks. The lawsuit comes on the heels of the 2012 enforcement by the agency over the limits on criminal records background checks by employers. Not a lot of information was forthcoming from BMW save reference to a prior statement that their employment policy was fair and consistent to all.

BMW’s criminal records background checks in it’s South Carolina plant are designed specifically for those individuals of any race who have criminal records for violent crimes. The company continues that a safe working environment is top of it’s priorities.

BMW contended that the sample of fired workers was not representative and its suit failed to confirm any disparate effect on anyone. The contractor who provided the staff (MAU) initiated the criminal records background checks in 2008 in a transitional time for contract workers. BMW maintain that UTI Integrated Logistics was the employer and not BMW manufacturing. The motion also stated that The Civil Rights Act does not prohibit criminal records background checks and that they are required as per public policy.

The application by EEOC re: disparate impact to BMW’s criminal records background check policy is in contravention of public policy. BMW also stated that most employers use a criminal records background check policy to screen potential employees and state/federal government also run a criminal records background check on prospective employees. Indeed it was pointed out that the EEOC subjected potential employees to a these same checks itself.

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