For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 
Contact: 

Cynthia Bell, (202) 675-2312; media@dcaclu.org

ACLU Urges EEOC to Update Guidance Policy

Guidelines Reaffirm Requirements of Civil Rights Law of 1964

WASHINGTON - The ACLU and a coalition of civil rights and civil liberties groups sent a letter to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights in response to the Commission’s briefing on “The Impact of Criminal Background Checks and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) Conviction Records Policy on the Employment of Black and Latino Workers,” held on December 7, 2012.

"When employers rely on criminal records alone, they compound racial imbalances and replicate inequities in the workplace that can result in employment being denied because of errors,” said Jennifer Bellamy, legislative counsel at the ACLU Washington Legislative Office. “Fair, balanced and workable hiring procedures that do not discriminate against minorities must be available for people with arrests and criminal records.”

The EEOC’s Guidance Policy does not create new law, but explains and reaffirms what the law states for screening job applicants or hiring workers, and is useful to employers to ensure compliance with Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

“The letter reminds the Commission that people with criminal records must have access to jobs to ensure their success,” Bellamy said. “The Guidance must explain to employers how to conduct appropriate background checks without violating the rights of job applicants.”

A pdf version of the letter is available here: http://www.aclu.org/criminal-law-reform-racial-justice/aclu-comments-usc....

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