EEOC Meeting Scheduled July 26th on the Use of Criminal Records for Background Checks


Equal Employment Opportunity CommissionThe Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) will hold a meeting on the use of criminal records for employment screening purposes on Tuesday, July 26th at 9:30 AM.  The meeting will be held at the EEOC Headquarters, 131 M Street, N.E., Washington, D.C.  20507.   

EBI would like to make employers aware of this meeting as it represents a critical step in the Commission’s adoption of policies that could significantly impact how employers use criminal background checks for employment purposes.  EBI and our background screening association, the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS), believes it is important that we join together as users of criminal records information and share with the EEOC both how background checks enable employers to make more informed hiring decisions and the need for any forthcoming EEOC action to not hamper employers’ ability to conduct background checks to protect employees, customers and property in the workplace.  The NAPBS Board of Directors, members of the Government Affairs Committee, NAPBS legislative counsel, Montserrat Miller and other interested parties will be in attendance and will serve as advocates for continued use of criminal records within the background screening process. 

NAPBS will also be preparing comments to be submitted to the EEOC on the relevance and benefits of access to criminal history records by employers. The July 26th meeting/hearing will be a full Commission meeting, meaning all five Commissioners and EEOC’s General Counsels will attend.  This includes Chairwoman Jacqueline Berrien, Commissioner Chai Feldblum, Commissioner Stuart Ishimaru, Commissioner Vicky Lipnic and Commissioner Constance Barker.  A formal agenda has not yet been released but it is expected that there will be multiple panels including academics, lawyers, victims’ groups (i.e., those who have been denied employment due to their criminal history), government officials, litigants from the El v. Septa case, and others.

Given the importance of this meeting to the industry and employers, as the role of the use of criminal records in employment screening will be the focus, employers are encouraged to add this date to their calendar and make plans to attend the hearing on July 26th, if possible.  The meeting will be open to the public and it will not be webcast or televised, although a transcript will be available after the meeting.  EBI will continue to lobby on behalf of employers to ensure that the use of criminal records for employment purposes can be used within the current guidelines and regulations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).  EBI will continue to update you on the progress and outcome of this meeting.

Employment Background Investigations, Inc. is committed to providing employers with valuable education, news and resources around background screening, drug testing, occupational healthcare and employment eligibility.  All content provided by EBI is published for the convenience of its readers and should never be deemed as legal guidance or advice.  Always consult your legal counsel for specific advice on local laws and industry regulations. 

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