|Bank robbery is a bad idea, but a conviction is no longer a barrier to future employment. From the Chron:
Q: What are the big, cutting-edge discrimination issues facing the EEOC?
A: We're going through difficult economic times right now. It's important to us to identify discriminatory hiring practices and policies that are excluding people unlawfully from the workplace.
I think the EEOC is in a unique position to do that. We're able to look at the patterns within a particular employer in a way a private individual isn't. You often don't know why you weren't hired. We can examine an employer's reasons and try to identify if there were any hiring screens.
We have a race discrimination case out of Chicago (that involved) a contracting company for custodial services. They had a predominantly Eastern European and Latino workforce and the (lack of) representation of African-Americans compared to the availability was statistically significant. They were using either word-of-mouth recruitment practices or relying on certain ethnic press.
We resolved it for $3 million and approximately 550 people benefited - the people who applied but weren't hired. The consent decree requires the company to actively recruit African-Americans. The whole goal is to make sure it doesn't happen again.
Another case we filed is a nationwide challenge to criminal arrest and conviction screens. We challenged that as having a disparate impact against African-Americans and Latinos. That is still pending in Baltimore.
Another one was filed in Ohio and we're looking at the use of credit reports to screen out applicants. We allege it has a disparate impact against African-Americans.
Credit checks and criminal screens (were big) in the '70s and '80s and sort of disappeared but with the new economy, employers are adopting these types of employment screens. That is something that has generated a lot of interest at the EEOC.