On Tuesday, July 26, 2011, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) held its latest meeting on the topic of protections for job applicants with arrest and conviction records under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The full Commission heard remarks from the panelists related to three areas: "Best Practices From Employers," "An Overview of Local, State and Federal Programs and Policies" and "Legal Standards Governing Employers' Consideration of Criminal Arrest and Conviction Records."
Although for the past few years the EEOC has renewed its focus on the hiring process, including Title VII protections for ex-offenders, the current Commissioners (Jaqueline Berrien, Stuart Ishimaru, Constance Barker, Chai Feldblum and Victoria Lipnic) have not indicated whether the EEOC will update its 1987 Policy Statement on the Issue of Conviction Records under Title VII, and did not do so at the July 26 meeting. As a result, it remains important for employers who may be the target of disparate impact claims or charges challenging their conviction-based screening policies to: (1) understand the current state of the case law; and (2) continue to closely monitor developments at the federal, state and local levels in this dynamic area of the law.
To learn more about the EEOC's meeting on employers' use of criminal arrest and conviction records during the hiring process, and the potential implications for employers, please continue reading Littler's ASAP, The EEOC's Priorities Still Include Regulating the Use of Criminal Records by Employers, by Rod Fliegel and Barry Hartstein.