HolyCoast: EEOC Considering Banning Criminal Background Checks to Spur Minority Hiring

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

EEOC Considering Banning Criminal Background Checks to Spur Minority Hiring

Will it increase minority hiring or employee theft?
Actions with the best intentions do not always result in the expected outcomes.

Currently, in an effort to lower minority unemployment and reduce discrimination, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is considering restricting or, in the most extreme case, eliminating the ability of employers to consider criminal background checks in hiring.

The commission has held two hearings on the matter with little fanfare, but great support from watchdog groups which argue that since African Americans and Latinos have higher arrest and conviction rates than whites, criminal background checks unfairly inhibit those protected classes’ job prospects.

Advocates for keeping the criminal background check guidelines in their current form have noted that the hearings the commission has held have leaned in favor of restricting employers’ use of background checks — as a way to increase employment in sections of the population hit hardest by the economic downturn.
But are good intentions enough to turn around minority unemployment? Probably not, because as it turns out this move may have exactly the opposite effect:
Civil Rights Commissioners Peter Kirsanow, Gail Heriot and Todd Gaziano pointed to research from economists Harry Holzer and Stephen Rafael and public policy professor Michael Stoll, published in the Journal of Law and Economics, which showed that employers with access to background checks are actually more likely to hire African Americans, especially African American men, than those without access to that informaion.

“Their results suggest that, in the absence of criminal background checks, some employers discriminate statistically against black men and/or those with weak employment records,” the commissioners pointed out in their letter to the EEOC.
Liberals are full of ideas which have "good intentions", such as Obamacare or tax hikes on the "rich", but how many times do they actually work out well? Not often. Sadly for the left, the realities of the marketplace trump their good intentions.


Sam L. said...

If liberals ran businesses....

Ben said...

The EEOC has neither the authority nor desire to ban background checks.

Simply put, 80% of criminal records (misdemeanors) have no correlation with specific employment qualifications. Employers are routinely disqualifying candidates based on irrelevant information and the practice has a disparate impact on protected classes of people. In other words, IT IS ILLEGAL and widespread.

The EEOC is considering how best to revise guidelines to better educate employers thereby reduceing the flood of valid unlawful discrimination litigation that is currently comming forward.