The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently accused BMW and Dollar Discount of violating Title VII of the Civil Rights Act by using a criminal background policy that disparately treated African Americans, but which served no legitimate business purposes. The case involved long-term BMW employees who were working for a BMW subcontractor who was terminated and refused re-employment after a background screening by a subsequent BMW subcontractor turned up convictions occurring more than seven years earlier.
Disparate treatment and employment applications
An employer who treats an individual differently because of race, nationality or other protected factors is liable for violating Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. If an employer refuses to hire an African American based on their criminal record but does in fact hire a white applicant who has the same background and a similar criminal record, there has been a violation of Title VII under a theory of disparate treatment.
Additionally, if an employer is willing to reject both an African American and a white applicant based on their criminal histories, but the criminal screening excludes a greater proportion of African Americans or another protected group — and the employer cannot show that the screening policy is related to job performance or is otherwise a business necessity —Title VII has been violated under a theory of disparate impact.
Eradicating unfair and unlawful employment practices
The EEOC has developed a Strategic Enforcement Plan designed to prevent marketplace discrimination and other unfair practices directed against certain vulnerable groups, and has made this plan a national priority. If you have a civil rights claim, Beaumont attorneys for civil rights can guide you through the process.
The Strategic Enforcement Plan includes the investigation and remediation of:
If you believe you are a victim of workplace discrimination, speak to a knowledgeable and experienced civil rights lawyer at the Bernsen Law Firm. Contact us for a free initial consultation.
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