Judge Rules Against EEOC - Demands Records

About 3 min

Judge Rules Against EEOC - Demands Records

c--documents_and_settings-dgaspar-my_documents-my_pictures-eeocSeveral companies have tried, but BMW just came out the winner in the background check battle with the EEOC

BMW has been trying to get the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to turn over an explanation of how the agency uses background checks in its hiring decisions.  The EEOC has accused BMW and several other employers of violating the rights of minorities by using background screening in a way that the commission claims have a “significant disparate impact on black employees.”

Considering the commission uses these same screening processes, employers have long complained that there is a “do as I say, not as I do” philosophy.  Earlier this year, a Magistrate Judge denied BMW’s request for the EEOC documents saying BMW didn’t adequately explain how seeing the EEOC’s policy would help BMW prove its case.  

BMW appealed to the U.S. District Court, and Judge Henry M. Herlong, Jr. overruled the Magistrate Judge.  Herlong held that the EEOC’s policies do have relevance, and that BMW should be able to compare and see if the agency is using the same information in their hiring decisions. He also said since the production of these documents should not be a burden to the EEOC, there should be no harm in sharing them.

This ruling is being seen as yet another win for employers since the EEOC has been accused several times of filing lawsuits against employers for using background checks in the very same way as the commission.  Depending on how this plays out, it might prove to be a gift to employers facing future EEOC lawsuits.

New Call-to-action  


Employment Background Investigations is a technology driven leader in domestic and global pre-employment background checks, drug testing, occupational health screening and I-9 compliance. We specialize in development, implementation and management of customized employment screening programs for large and multi-national clients. We are dedicated to information security.  EBI is the only NAPBS Accredited background screening company in the world to hold both an ISO 27001:2005 certification for information security and an ISO 9001:2008 certification for Quality Management.

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 state laws and industry regulations.


Stay up-to-date on Employment Laws & Regulations with EBI's Screening News Network.