by Susan L. Swatski, Esquire (email / link to bio)

For the first time in 25 years, on April 25, 2012, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) refined its Enforcement Guidance on the Consideration of Arrest and Conviction Records in Employment Decisions Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (the “Guidance”). The Guidance advises that the mere existence of a criminal record without more should not support the wholesale exclusion of otherwise qualified people from the workforce. Under the Guidance, an employer’s use of arrest and conviction information from background checks has to be “narrowly tailored” to the specific job.