The EEOC, Background Checks and NATSB’s Job Matrix

The EEOCDo you want to comply with the EEOC’s (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) guidance that was issued in 2012 dealing with background checks? We can help you build targeted, position specific background checks through our Job Matrix. Using our Individual Assessment tool, we contact your applicants and assess them for you. In 2012 and 2013 the EEOC has been extremely active. Even though the courts have been siding more with the employer, the EEOC is not showing any signs of going away.

At NATSB, we have learned a few things from recent cases:

  1. Limitations of the EEOC filing suit on a company if the EEOC, as the plaintiff, cannot proceed to trial without making a threshold showing of disparate impact.
  2. Limitations of the EEOC filing suit on a company if the EEOC can only sustain this showing with reliable expert statistical evidence, and cannot necessarily rely on nationwide criminal justice statistics.
  3. Limitations of the EEOC filing suit on a company if the employer does not have a single-step, across-the-board screening process, the EEOC cannot merely challenge the process “as a whole,” but it must demonstrate that the alleged disparate impact stems from specific elements of the process.
  4. Employers that want to assess potential disparate impact risks should conduct a review of their screening policies to identify areas to fortify Title VII compliance. Some questions to consider: Has the policy targeted background checks for different roles in your company? Does the policy account for the developing body of criminological literature discussing recidivism?

Now that you know the EEOC is active, you will need to know the steps to stay compliant. When ordering a background check, order one that is Job Related and Consistent with Business Necessity. This shows that you are building a targeted background check for the position you are screening. Each of your positions need to have position specific search criteria that includes the data behind the decisions for the background check.

When reading the background check, look at the crime and consider the nature behind it. Also, look at the nature of the job and the time elapsed from the crime. You can then provide an opportunity for an individualized assessment for applicants excluded by the background check to determine whether the policy is job related and consistent with business necessity. Always keep information gathered from background checks confidential. Only use the information for the purpose of hiring, retaining, not hiring or dismissing an applicant or employee.

The EEOC indicates that individual assessments should take into account any information provided by the individual in question regarding:

  • The facts or circumstances surrounding the offense or conduct;
  • The number of offenses for which the individual was convicted;
  • Older age at the time of conviction, or release from prison;
  • Evidence that the individual performed the same type of work, post-conviction, with the same or a different employer, with no known incidents of criminal conduct;
  • The length and consistency of employment history before and after the offense or conduct;
  • Rehabilitation efforts, e.g., education/training;
  • Employment or character references and any other information regarding fitness for the particular position; and
  • Whether the individual is bonded under a federal, state, or local bonding program.
  • If an individual does not respond to the employer’s request to conduct the individual assessment, the employer can then make a decision without the information, according to the Guidance.

The EEOC did spell out what they view to be “Employer Best Practices” and they cite the following:

  • Eliminate policies or practices that exclude people from employment based on any criminal record.
  • Train managers, hiring officials, and decision makers about Title VII and its prohibition on employment discrimination.
  • Develop a narrowly tailored written policy and procedure for screening applicants and employees for criminal conduct.

At NATSB, our mission is to be the ultimate source of services to hire and retain superior employees and volunteers for our clients. Our core values consist of integrity; people first; client oriented; and innovation. We respect the value of human dignity. With people first, we’re building safe and secure workplaces along with nurturing relationships with our employees and clients. Always designing services to meet our clients’ needs. Providing education to add value. Making ourselves available to listen to our clients. With innovation, we embrace technology. Promoting industry best practices. Constantly improving service and products. We hope this is evident in the personal service and expert advice you’ll receive from our screening specialists.

CONTACT US: If you would like more information you can visit the Bureau of Consumer Protection or the NATSB website. To learn more how NATSB can help you with your background screening needs, please contact us at or call us at 316-263-4400. We can customize any background check to meet your unique needs. We offer volume pricing, NO signup fees, and NO minimum orders.