Don Livingston Quoted by Thomson Reuters on EEOC Suits over Criminal Background Checks

Akin Gump labor and employment partner Don Livingston was quoted by Thomson Reuters News & Insight on suits filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against a BMW facility and Dollar General for using criminal background checks in the case of minority job applicants.

Livingston, a former EEOC general counsel, noted that the EEOC’s revision of its guidance in April 2012 as well as its meetings on the issue (including a December meeting at which he appeared as an expert) indicated a renewed focus on the discriminatory use of criminal background checks.

He said, “Since the EEOC put this issue on its radar, they've brought four lawsuits. They have certainly prioritized the issue and are pursuing cases they would not have pursued in the past.”

Livingston noted that employers who wish to avoid having EEOC investigations launched and claims brought against them should revise their hiring policies to conform to the EEOC’s policy guidance, adding “It's not far-fetched to think that the publicity surrounding it has educated potential charging parties to the fact they might have claims and that the EEOC might look favorably on them.”