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.
Caught Coming and Going! – What if the EEOC’s Guidance On Criminal Record Leads to Claims of Negligent Hiring?
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.
Don’t Mess with Texas: Texas AG Argues EEOC Guidance On Criminal Background Checks Violates State Sovereignty
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.”
For the second time in less than six months, the EEOC finds itself on the wrong side of a lawsuit. On November 4, 2013, the State of Texas sued the EEOC in the Northern District of Texas seeking declaratory and injunctive relief against the EEOC for issuing its 2012 arrest and conviction guidance (the “2012 Guidance”).
The EEOC has been facing some controversy with regard to its April 2012 guidance on the use of criminal background checks, in which it discussed the appropriate use of criminal background information for employment purposes, which we discussed in a prior blog entry, “EEOC’s Updated Guidance on Arrests and Convictions.”
EEOC Responds to Attorneys’ General Criticism of EEOC’s “Misguided” Position On Criminal Background Screens
We previously blogged about the scathing letter sent by the chief legal officers representing the states of Alabama, Colorado, Georgia, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, South Carolina, Utah and West Virginia to the five Commissioners of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) blasting the EEOC on its position that “employers’ use of bright-line criminal background checks in the hiring process violates Title VII…” and urging the EEOC to reconsider its ‘Enforcement Guidance on the Consideration of Arrest and Conviction Records in Employment Decisions Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964’ approved in April 2012.
We recently described here how the culmination of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (“EEOC”) aggressive enforcement of its April 25, 2012 Enforcement Guidance and numerous state and local ban-the-box laws has created a new criminal background check minefield protecting criminals at the expense of employers. But how are employers supposed to respond?