Dollar General Settlement with EEOC Should Alert All Hiring Managers;…

Criminal Background Checks Include County, Statewide and National Criminal Background Checks.

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Criminal Background Records

A best practice for HR Departments is to work with a well-qualified third-party background screening agency in order to remain fully compliant with law and potentially avoid heavy penalties for non-compliance infractions.

A recent settlement with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission resulted in a $6mm penalty against Dollar General, just one of the many companies that has been challenged in court regarding hiring practices and policies. Adam Almeida, President and CEO of CriminalBackgroundRecords.com opines: “A best practice for HR Departments is to work with a well-qualified third-party background screening agency, such as CriminalBackgroundRecords.com, in order to remain fully compliant with law and potentially avoid heavy penalties for non-compliance infractions.”

Laws governing background screening, specifically the use of public records such as Criminal History Reports, can be challenging to companies and organizations. Failure to comply with law or show evidence of discriminatory practice can bring the attention of the EEOC. In recent years the EEOC has taken companies to court and inflicted significant settlement penalties upon those companies.

From TimesRecordNews.com (Nov. 19, 19):

Major retail-chain Dollar General will be required to pay $6 million and provide other relief stemming from a class-action discrimination lawsuit, according to a release Monday from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

The lawsuit states Dollar General, the largest small-box discount retailer in the country, violated federal law by denying employment to African Americans at a significantly higher rate than Caucasian job applicants for failing the company’s reportedly “broad” criminal background checks. (1)

Almeida adds: “Settlements, such as the one against Dollar General, could substantially change the way in which employees are hired. In certain cases, mandated oversite may be part of the settlement.”

From EEOC.gov (Nov 18, 19):

If Dollar General chooses to use a criminal background check during the term of the decree, the retailer must hire a criminology consultant to develop a new criminal background check based on several factors including the time since conviction, the number of offenses, the nature and gravity of the offense(s), and the risk of recidivism. Once the consultant provides a recommendation, the decree enjoins Dollar General from using any other criminal background check for its hiring process. (2)

Almeida concludes: “A best practice remains for all companies, large and small, to work with a well-qualified third-party pre-employment background screening agency in order to remain full compliance with law. Policy and practice must be fully non-discriminatory, which, subsequently, should avoid the legal eye of the EEOC.”

CriminalBackgroundRecords.com is a third-party employment screening company, an advocate of SHRM, a member in good standing with the PBSA (Professional Background Screening Association) and maintains an A+ Rating with the BBB (Better Business Bureau). The company has highly trained operators well versed in the needs and requirements of companies and organizations large and small utilizing public records, such as criminal background records, as part of a hiring process. Assisting companies in maintaining full compliance under the law is a central tenet of all client relationships with CriminalBackgroundRecords.com.

Notes:
Court case cited herein: UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS EASTERN DIVISION U.S. EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION, Plaintiff, v. DOLGENCORP, LLC d/b/a Dollar General, Defendant. Case No.: 13 CV 4307

(1)    timesrecordnews.com/story/news/crime/2019/11/19/dollar-general-pay-6-million-settlement-racial-discrimination-lawsuit/4232444002/
(2)    eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/11-18-19b.cfm

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