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News & Events


Hiring Al Capone: New Employer Duties With Criminal Background Checks

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Lane Powell Shareholder Mike Reilly authored an article in Seattle Business magazine’s July 2012 issue titled “Hiring Al Capone: New Employer Duties With Criminal Background Checks.” In the article, Reilly discusses the April 25 Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s new guidelines for employers confirming that employers may not deny employment solely because of a conviction. The employer must make an individualized assessment of the applicant’s criminal background and behavior, since the bad acts occurred before a decision is made not to hire the applicant.

If you are the typical employer, you perform a criminal background check on job applicants, right? Ninety percent of employers do, and it is understandable why criminal background checks are performed: Over 65 million people in the United States have been arrested or convicted, and employers have been sued successfully for criminal acts performed by employees with a criminal record.

But a train wreck is coming if you do not follow new guidelines established on April 25 by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) on how to use the results of those criminal background checks.

Read the article (PDF).