Publications

"Employers' Guide to Navigating the Criminal Background Check and Application Process," IndustryWeek August 21, 2015

“Despite the obvious benefits of criminal background checks, the EEOC has taken the position for the last 40 years that the blanket use of criminal history to screen jobseekers creates a disparate impact on minority applicants and thus violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964,” write Dove A. E. Burns and Stacey L. Pitcher, partners in Goldberg Segalla’s Employment and Labor and Professional Liability Practice Groups, in IndustryWeek.

“The disparate impact model does not require that an employer intentionally discriminate for liability to attach. Instead, the applicant or employee must only prove that the employer uses objective criteria that have a disproportionate impact on a particular group.”

In this comprehensive piece, Dove and Stacey provide analysis of separate actions brought by the EEOC that claim criminal record exclusions have a disparate impact on minority applicants — as well as practical tips for employers looking to avoid potential liability.

“It is likely that the outcome of these cases will provide greater clarity on the issue of whether, and in what contexts, the use of criminal background checks violates Title VII,” they note. “However, even with such clarity, employers will likely still be left in a Catch 22.”

Read the article here: