WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced last week that a proposal to ban companies from running background checks on current workers and job applicants, FastCasual.com reports.
"We had the opportunity to add to our knowledge of this issue and learn about the practical ways employers have been able to balance business concerns with the need to ensure that employment practices are fair and non-discriminatory," said Jacqueline Berrian, EEOC chairwoman, in a press release.
Social agencies had advocated for the ban, warning the commission that criminal record databases often have incomplete or inaccurate information. However, the National Retail Federation (NRF), along with other groups, wrote to the EEOC asking that the commission not implement the ban.
"We are companies and trade associations representing businesses that have a critical need to protect the safety of people and property in workplaces across the United States. One of the most important ways to create safe working environments is for employers, principals and volunteer organizations to be able to conduct criminal background checks of employees, independent contractors and volunteers," the NRF wrote.
"We understand the frustration some have in finding employment, especially in a time of national economic stress, and we also appreciate the strong desire to reintegrate former prisoners into American society," the NRF letter continued. "However, attempts to ease unemployment frustration or reentry desires should not come at the expense of keeping people and businesses safe from physical or financial harm."
The EEOC is holding its July 26 meeting record open for 15 days. Public comments relating to the proposal can be emailed to Commissionmeetingcomments@eeoc.gov.