Some construction firms have recently claimed that they were able to resolve their labor gap issues by hiring candidates that were previously incarcerated. With that being said, employers need to be mindful of laws related to hiring individuals that were convicted of a crime. For example, a company policy excluding applicants on the basis of having a criminal record could create liability issues. Another issue is employers that are inconsistent in their policy for hiring applicants with a criminal record as this can potentially result in a lawsuit or a discrimination claim filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
To ensure you are not excluding job applicants under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, speak with the Sarasota construction attorneys at Cotney Construction Law. In this part, we will provide employers with a few steps to take to ensure that they don’t violate any laws while interviewing candidates that were previously arrested for a crime. To catch up on this series, please read part one.
4 Rules to Ensure EEOC Compliance
Here are four ways you can ensure compliance with laws governed by the EEOC.
1) Never Discriminate
The EEOC stresses the importance of treating all applicants the same and not excluding applicants based off of their criminal record. Moreover, employers need to be mindful that adverse actions against a protected group (race, gender, age, national origin, disability) can result in an investigation by the EEOC. To learn more about labor employment laws, consult a construction attorney.
2) Assess the Crime and Determine If It’s Job-Related
If an applicant does have a criminal record, employers should closely assess the nature of the crime and determine if it is related to the role the applicant would fill with your company. Generally, it’s acceptable to exclude applicants that committed a crime that is job-related.
3) Assess the Circumstances of the Crime
Employers should also consider the circumstances related to the applicant’s criminal history. For example, employers should consider the number of times an applicant was convicted of a crime, how much time has passed since their conviction, their age at the time of the incident, and what rehabilitation efforts they have taken to correct their mistake. These issues and more can factor into your assessment of an applicant’s criminal history and whether or not you are willing to give them a chance.
4) Speak With the Applicant
If an applicant notifies you that they have a criminal record during the interview process, it’s critical that the employer allows the applicant to have a chance to explain their criminal record before they make any final decision regarding their candidacy.
Consult a Sarasota construction law firm for all of your employment law needs.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.