EEOC claims that employers are using background checks to unlawfully discriminate against minorities. Since 38% of the prison population is black (compared to 12% of the total population) and Latinos are 2.3 times more likely to go to prison than whites, the use of as criminal background check or credit report is discriminatory.
KEY: The EEOC says employers must consider the nature of the job, the seriousness of the offense and how long ago it occurred. For example, a drunk driving conviction is very important is the employee drives a vehicle for the employer, but probably irrelevant for an office worker.
For employers, an accurate job description is critical. If the employer can connect the criminal offenses in the report to a job description, then the employer is justified in using criminal background checks and/or credit reports.