Are criminal background checks fair? - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Are criminal background checks fair?

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ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

The federal government is questioning the fairness of criminal background checks for job applicants.

The Equal Opportunity Employment Commission recently sued BMW and Dollar General, claiming their policies resulted in too many African Americans being fired or kicked out of the employment process.
    
Georgia's Attorney General insists employers need to have the right to screen applicants.

Many of us have to pass a criminal background check before we get a job, but the EEOC is now taking a closer look at those policies.  I talked to an employer in Albany today who says the process is effective.

Bonita Hardwick is looking for work.

"Well it's been hurting, needing things,” said Hardwick.

She hopes to get a job at Albany's New Hampton Inn set to open next month.

"We're hiring for our front desk, the night audit, the breakfast staff, housekeeping, maintenance, and director of sales,” said Hitesh Patel

To get one of those coveted spots, she'll have to pass a background check.  The Equal Opportunity Employment Commission questions whether those checks are discriminatory.

Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens says the EEOC is overstepping its boundaries.  He released a statement saying, "At a time when Georgia businesses are already saddled with a multitude of burdensome regulations, the last thing we need is another federal regulation imposing even more unnecessary requirements."

Hampton Inn officials say the background checks simply help them make sure they hire the best workers. 

"Everyone who walks through our door we ask for that, we don't separate, if it's Caucasian or Black or Hispanic, we have asked everyone for their background checks,” said Patel.

Patel says the checks protect hotel guests and employees.

“Just to have security of other employees, even the good names of our employees in the area, for the business,” said Patel.

Bonita Hardwick hopes the employment screening process goes well for her.

"That would be a blessing because right now I need a job,” said Hardwick

She hopes to be working with others who pass the checks soon.

That new Hampton Inn is scheduled to open August 15th.

If you want to read the EEOC's explanation for its lawsuits and Attorney General Olens' response click the link below.

http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/6-11-13.cfm

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