Brush with Justice System Keep Many from Jobs

March 25, 2011  |  

(The Grio) — Today, it is estimated that 65 million U.S. adults have a criminal record and continue to face barriers to employment as a result. According to a new report by the National Employment Law Project (NELP), the overuse of imposing criminal background checks and blanket bans against hiring people who have been charged with even a misdemeanor offense is a practice that has been adopted by at least 10 leading national employers, including Bank of America, Aramark, Lowe’s, Domino’s Pizza and Radio Shack, among others.  In 1987, the EEOC issued policy guidelines that determined barring people from employed based solely on a criminal conviction history disproportionately excluded African-Americans and Latinos from the labor market because they are overrepresented in the criminal justice system. Just as it is illegal to overtly discriminate by race, ethnicity or skin color, it is also a violation of civil rights law for an employer to use non-job related selection criteria that disproportionately disadvantages people of color in hiring decisions.

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