Background Checks

HR Policy Association believes that employers should have the flexibility to adequately screen job candidates, which may include conducting criminal and credit checks on applicants.  Checking an applicant’s credit report and record for criminal convictions are important and necessary tools for employers to use in order to provide a safe workplace, promote the safety of employees and customers, and the security of their confidential information.   We believe that the EEOC's longstanding directive explaining that background checks must be job-related provides adequate protection against the potential for the discriminatory impact that such practices may have on certain protected groups.   Moreover, in many cases, employers are required by law to conduct inquiries into the background of applicants or employees and those employers that fail to do so can face a real threat of negligent hiring and retention litigation, which can leave the employer liable for substantial damages.  Thus, we strongly oppose the EEOC’s new guidance because would effectively prohibit employers from using criminal and credit checks because it begins with the presumption that employers’ use of such measures will have a discriminatory impact on certain protected groups.  We believe that inflexible EEOC guidance would only further burden the job market and the economy and make the hiring process more difficult.