Tips for Employers in the Senior Care Space to Navigate the EEOC’s Guidance on Criminal Background Checks

Employers in the senior living and long-term care industries need to be aware of various state “Ban the Box” laws and U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission guidance restricting the use of criminal history information in employment decisions. To ensure a particular screening policy or practice does not violate the disparate impact prohibition under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, employers must conduct a targeted screening of criminal records to exclude only specific criminal conduct that would make the applicant unfit to perform the job and conduct individualized assessments of those applicants who are screened out during the first step to ensure they are not relying on incorrect, incomplete, or irrelevant information; allow for consideration of mitigating factors; and give applicants an opportunity to correct errors in their records.

Eighteen states currently have Ban the Box laws that limit when employers can ask applicants to disclose criminal history information during the application process, so to avoid hefty fines and penalties, employers operating in these states should consider removing the criminal history question from their applications. There are certain exceptions for health care employers or those required by law to consider an applicant’s criminal history, but it may be easier to remove the question than have numerous different applications depending on the job, state, or jurisdiction.

Read more here: Lexology (09/01/15) Esteban Shardonofsky