Genevieve M. Murphy-Bradacs, Senior Counsel in the Employment, Labor & Workforce Management practice, in the firm’s New York office, was quoted in Law360 Employment Authority, in “EEOC Criminal History Suit Brings Fresh Focus to Old Policy,” by Anne Cullen. (Read the full version – subscription required.)

Following is an excerpt:

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's recent lawsuit challenging convenience chain Sheetz's use of criminal background checks aligns with the agency's longstanding take on anti-discrimination law, but is unique in its emphasis on job candidates needing to have a say in the hiring process, experts said. …

But management-side attorneys said the lawsuit seems to add new weight to the importance of having an appeals process for job candidates who are about to be passed over because of a past run-in with law enforcement, following the footsteps of a growing body of state and local policymakers.

"This is moving towards where we've seen states and local jurisdictions moving their fair chance laws," said Epstein Becker Green senior counsel Genevieve M. Murphy-Bradacs, referring to laws that require employers to consider job applicants' credentials before their criminal histories. "I wonder if the EEOC is moving more in that direction, to line up their interpretive guidance with these newer fair chance laws that we've been seeing pop up all across the country." …

'Different Approach' in Sheetz Case

However, experts said the EEOC appears to be throwing greater weight behind some elements of its criminal background screening policy in the new lawsuit. In the complaint, the agency dinged Sheetz for not having a "uniform" or "standard" procedure for candidates "to appeal or otherwise seek reconsideration of decisions to deny them employment due to criminal justice history information." …
Murphy-Bradacs, of Epstein Becker, said the federal agency's position in the Sheetz case may be a "sort of precursor to potentially new and updated guidance that the EEOC is intending to release."

"If you go back to the interpretative guidance, while they do talk about individualized assessments, there really isn't anything in there that talks about there being a procedure for applicants to be able to appeal or seek reconsideration before a final decision is made," she said. "That seems kind of new to me."

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