01.04.2010 The EEOC's Renewed Interest in Applicant Screening on the Basis of Credit and Criminal Histories
Employers have legitimate concerns about workplace security, safety, violence, and liability. In the absence of a clear federal prohibition, many prospective employers ask job candidates to either disclose their arrests and criminal convictions, or permit a criminal background search as part of the application process and consistent with the requirements of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. The request is usually accompanied with the disclaimer that any arrest or conviction will not automatically disqualify the applicant for the position. Rather, an employer should reject an applicant who cannot be trusted to perform the duties of the position when considering the nature of the job, the nature and seriousness of the offense, and the time that has passed since either the arrest or the conviction. In addition, many prospective employees are asked to allow a background investigation into their credit and financial histories.

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