Civil Rights Act of 1964

Class-action against U.S. Census Bureau alleges race-bias in using criminal background checks

On July 1, 2014, a magistrate judge in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York certified as a class-action an unprecedented lawsuit brought under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, that alleges the U.S. Census Bureau’s process of using criminal background checks when selecting temporary workers for the 2010 census unlawfully screened out approximately 250,000 African-Americans. Filed in April 2010, the complaint charges that in hiring nearly a million temporary workers, most of whom went door-to-door seeking information from residents, the Bureau erected unreasonable and largely insurmountable hurdles for applicants with arrest records, regardless of whether the arrests were decades old, were for minor charges, or led to criminal convictions.

July 9th, 2014|Judgment, Lawsuit|

EEOC files suits against two employers for use of criminal background checks

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (the “EEOC”) announced on June 11, 2013 that it filed lawsuits against two large employers accusing them of using criminal background checks to illegally discriminate against African American workers. The EEOC alleged that the companies, by requiring contracted employees and prospective employees to submit to criminal background checks, violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964’s prohibition against race discrimination.

“Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination against job applicants and employees on account of their race,” said EEOC Chair Jacqueline A. Berrien.  “Since issuing its first written policy guidance in the 1980s regarding the use of arrest and conviction records in employment decisions, the EEOC has advised employers that under certain circumstances, their use of that information to deny employment opportunities could be at odds with Title VII.”  The EEOC issued updated enforcement guidance on employer use of arrest and conviction records in April 2012.

June 20th, 2013|Employment Decisions, Lawsuit|
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