NAACP Lauds EEOC on Updated Criminal Background Check Policy
New guidelines will protect formerly incarcerated applicants from discrimination; people of color disproportionately represented
The NAACP applauded the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC) for updating a 25-year-old guidance on criminal background checks. The new policy will curb discrimination in background checks and promote integrity in the screening process while protecting safety and security at the workplace.
“The Equal Opportunity Employment Commission’s decision will help balance the playing field for job applicants with a criminal history,” stated NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous. “Our criminal justice system is deeply biased against people of color, and that disparity can carry over to the job search. These guidelines will discourage employers from discriminating against applicants who have paid their debt to society.”
An estimated 65 million people in the United States have an arrest or conviction record that can show up on a routine criminal background check. The burden falls heavier on worker of color; for example, African Americans are arrested at a rate more than double their share of the U.S. population.
At the same time, African Americans suffer from a 14% unemployment rate, compared to 8.2% for the nation as a whole.
Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities, conducting voter mobilization and monitoring equal opportunity in the public and private sectors.