BMW, Dollar General hit with discrimination suits
The federal government says their policies on running criminal background checks on new hires violate the Civil Rights Act.
The federal government has filed lawsuits against two major companies for alleged discriminatory hiring practices against people who've been convicted of a crime.
On Tuesday, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced its lawsuit against a BMW (BAMXY) manufacturing facility in South Carolina. It also filed a separate lawsuit against Dollar General (DG), which the EEOC described as "the largest small-box discount retailer in the United States."
The commission says both companies violated the 1964 federal Civil Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race and national origin, because the BMW and Dollar General practices have a disproportionate impact on African Americans.
Under federal law, employers may use an individual's criminal history in making employment decisions and that, in some circumstances, "there may be reasons for an employer not to rely on the conviction record alone when making an employment decision."
In an Enforcement Guidance memo issued last year, the EEOC warned some of those decisions may also violate the Civil Rights Act. The guidance called on employers to allow employees to explain any criminal record and asked that such inquiries "be limited to convictions for which exclusion would be job related for the position in question and consistent with business necessity."
In the BMW case, the EEOC said the company's policies regarding criminal background checks are "a blanket exclusion without any individualized assessment of the nature and gravity of the crimes, the ages of the convictions, or the nature of the claimants' respective positions."
The Dollar General case involves two job applicants. One had previously worked at another retailer in a similar position, but her job offer was allegedly revoked because of a drug possession conviction six years earlier. Dollar General fired the other applicant even though she advised the store manager in question that the felony conviction attributed to her on her background check was a mistake.
The EEOC told The Associated Press it attempted to resolve both cases through settlement before filing the lawsuits.
"Overcoming barriers to employment is one of our strategic enforcement priorities," EEOC spokeswoman Justine Lisser told AP. "We hope that these lawsuits will further educate the public and the employer community on the appropriate use of conviction records."
A BMW spokeswoman told AP the company "believes that it has complied with the letter and spirit of the law and will defend itself against the EEOC's allegations of race discrimination.''
A disproportionate impact on African-Americans? vs whom? African-Canadians?
If you're referring to companies in the US, you don't need to mention nationality.
This discrimination suit will open up a flurry of copycat suits if a judge rules in favor of it.
A white supremicist, new black panther member, or former mexican drug cartel runner with long lists of felonies could then march in and apply for all these jobs. If they get turned down, they can blame it on discrimination and use this lawsuit as the precedent in court.
Well if this is the case, I would recommend that the EEOC go after 7-eleven also. As a former manager for 7-eleven I can tell you first hand that they also are violating the law, refusing to hire and for firing employees in stores they take over for convictions that took place 25 years prior to their employment. How long must a person be punished for their behavior??
So everyone who has screwed up might as well make it his life long occupation to be a criminal cause he will never get a job any where else and the correctional system might as well save their money, cause learning a lesson or remorse don’t count. Oh even better lets lock all criminals up for life, one verdict, one sentence, or lets just shoot them, whats the point in keeping them around.
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