Law360 Profiles Akin Gump EEOC Win

A victory by Akin Gump for client Freeman in an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission race bias suit was profiled by Law360 in “How They Won It: Akin Beats EEOC Background Check Case.”

The Akin Gump team, led by partner and former EEOC general counsel Don Livingston, refuted claims by the EEOC that Freeman was engaging in a pattern of discrimination based on the company’s use of background checks that disqualified African-American, Hispanic/Latino and male job applicants at a higher rate than other job applicants.

Regarding the EEOC’s 2005 informal guidance that it would presume that hiring policies that consider prospective employees’ criminal history violate the Civil Rights Act, Livingston said that guidance “is imprecise, providing no information on what positions [the EEOC] would take in the courtroom, and a lot of employers were watching the case to see whether they could get clarification.”

He also noted that the Akin Gump’s team research into the EEOC’s own hiring practices revealed that Freeman’s “practices were similar in many relevant respects to those of the EEOC—which presumably would not be using practices that are not job-related.”

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