Thursday, August 12, 2010
Companies using criminal records or bad credit reports to screen out job applicants are accused of racism
Companies using criminal records or bad credit reports to screen out job applicants might run afoul of anti-discrimination laws as the government steps up scrutiny of hiring policies that can hurt blacks and Hispanics. A blanket refusal to hire workers based on criminal records or credit problems can be illegal if it has a disparate impact on racial minorities, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Blacks and Latinos have arrest and conviction rates far greater than those of whites. Justice Department statistics show that 38% of the U.S. prison population is black, compared with about 12% of the general population. In 2008, African-Americans were about six times more likely to be incarcerated than whites. The incarceration rate for Latinos was 2.3 times higher than whites.