On November 4, the state of Texas sued the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Jacqueline A. Berrien (in her official capacity as chair of the EEOC), requesting a federal district court to declare invalid the EEOC’s enforcement guidance on employers’ use of arrest and conviction records and to enjoin the EEOC from using this guidance against the state and its agencies.
The “ban the box” movement continues to sweep through state legislatures. These laws, which vary in terms of scope and detail, generally prohibit employers from requesting on applications information about applicants’ criminal histories. Recent legislation in two states applies “ban the box” prohibitions to private employers in the state.
Wanting to comply with the latest edict of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and give a recently released felon a break, Awft N. Cawssius ignored Pa Roll’s answer of “yes” to whether he had been convicted of a crime in the last five years and hired Pa to work as an armed security guard at Awft’s convenience store.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) usually forces employers who are subject to Title VII to play defense. The State of Texas, however, has upended that approach. On November 4, 2013, Texas filed a federal lawsuit that seeks to strike down the EEOC’s April 2012 Enforcement Guidance limiting employers’ use of criminal background checks in making employment decisions.
In a lawsuit filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas on November 4, 2013, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott seeks injunctive and declaratory relief against the EEOC on the grounds that the agency’s April 2012 Enforcement Guidance on the Consideration of Arrest and Conviction Records in Employment Decisions “purports to preempt the State’s sovereign power to enact and abide by state-law hiring practices.”