The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is warning employers that it is illegal to use a prospective employee's past conviction records, even for serious felonies, as an "absolute measure" as to whether they should be hired because this "could limit the employment opportunities of some protected groups."
This is, the EEOC says, because blacks and Hispanics are over-represented among felons.
"Blacks and Hispanics also have an unfortunate higher high school and college dropout rates than whites and Asians -- surely this could be determined to be a disparate impact. Does that mean the EEOC could mandate that employers cannot consider an applicant's education? Where will it stop?" asks Justin Danhof, general counsel of the National Center for Public Policy Research. "It is unfortunate that the EEOC is placing outdated racial politics ahead of the American workforce at a time when employers should be encouraged to hire, but this mentality will likely make businesses think twice about plans for expansion. Employers should be free to consider the full content of an applicant's character when making hiring decisions."
Yup, this edict is true.