You’ve probably heard that it’s not wise to automatically disqualify job candidates with a criminal history.

Here’s an example of why: The EEOC recently sued event marketer Freeman Cos. for discrimination because it allegedly rejected applicants on the basis of past criminal charges or convictions.

Why was this discriminatory, according to the EEOC? Because these hiring practices discriminated against men, and against black and Hispanic applicants. Apparently these categories of applicant were more likely to have criminal histories than non-minority women.

Depending on your business, it may or may not be critical for you to weed out those who could pose security risks.

If you do screen for criminal history, and reject applicants on that basis, you should always be able to cite clear business necessity.

Also, taking into account charges, as opposed to convictions, is particularly risky. A criminal charge may prove very little about the applicant.

photo credit: davidsonscott15

1 Comment

  • omar acevedo says:

    new york state has article 23-a but its useless, i still see lots of denying of employment to people with criminal past, most job postings specifically say “no Felonies” as a requirement. so what good is article 23-a.  i myself cant applying for alot of good jobs because those are the jobs that specify the no felony requirements, or they are phrased as “must pass a background check”

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