The EEOC has decided to take aim at Dollar General and BMW in their latest attempt to hold companies accountable for violating the Fair Credit Reporting Act as well as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race and national origin as well as retaliation.
The EEOC claims that both companies discriminated against African Americans by using criminal background information to screen both new hires and existing staff.
It is alleged that BMW terminated 70 black employees from its South Carolina plant, the majority of which had been with the company for many years. One employee was let go after a misdemeanor conviction was revealed that was nearly 20 years old, and had carried a fine of $137. This would constitute a violation of the FCRA, as the employer was utilizing criminal record information older than 7 years.
The EEOC also claims that Dollar General rescinded job offers to two African American women when it was determined that in one of the cases the adverse information reported wasn’t accurate, and didn’t belong to the subject of the report.
Dollar General violated two sections of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. The first was not utilizing the most accurate and up to date information when reporting public record information. The second was not allowing the subject of the report to review and dispute any of the information contained in the background check.
It’s extremely disconcerting that large, industry-leading companies still find it difficult to comply with Federal law when it comes to background checks.