Showing posts with label EEOC. Show all posts
Showing posts with label EEOC. Show all posts

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Why You Need to Know How a “Certificate of Relief” will Help You Hire more Safely ~ even if Your New Hire has a Record!

Learn How a Certificate of Relief will Help You Safely Hire Ex-Offenders
Would You Hire Someone with a 
Criminal Record?

That is a question that plagues both employers and job applicants who have any kind of criminal history.

When it comes to employers, many are understandably wary of hiring applicants with a criminal record. They worry that they could cause problems for their company, their other employees, and their customers. They think that by hiring an ex-offender they are putting themselves and others at risk. 

Companies also fear that hiring someone who already has a criminal history makes them more vulnerable to negligent hiring lawsuits. Employers can be found liable if, while during the course of business, one of their employees commits a criminal offense or acts in any way that could cause harm to someone else. 

Ex-offenders also have their own set of worries and fears. They know that even after they have completed their sentences, they face a prejudice that is hard to overcome. And that prejudice is crystal clear when it comes to getting hired.

However, helping those with a criminal history get a job is not only important for them, it is good for our society as a whole. 

When criminals are released from jail or finish a period of probation, they are, for the first time in awhile, on their own. Many make vows to themselves that things are going to be different. They dream of being a self-reliant, responsible adult.

But the problem then becomes, how can they make that happen?

It all comes down to this ~ Find a Job!

Getting hired is the key! It is a huge step for any ex-offender when it comes time to start over. Being employed not only helps them financially, it also gives ex-offenders a sense of normalcy and, most importantly, pride.

Without that step up, many will re-offend and can even end up worse than before.

This is a problem not just for them, but for all of us ~ and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and many states are starting to take notice.

One of the latest ways that some states are helping ex-offenders get a new start is by granting them a “Certificate of Relief”.

A “Certificate of Relief” will Help You Hire Ex-Offenders with Less Risk! “Tweet This”

A “Certificate of Relief” is a statement by the court that an ex-offender has met a certain pre-defined set of circumstances and conditions concerning their past conviction(s). This certificate is designed to help reduce the risk to employers who hire ex-offenders.

But this certification is not given to everyone. While specific criteria may vary state to state, common conditions that ex-offenders must meet to be granted a “Certificate of Relief” are:
  • A limited number of felonies and/or misdemeanors.
  • A specific period of time has passed since the completion of their sentence (may be 12 months or more) including any probation or parole assigned.
  • They must have completed all terms of their sentence(s) including probation, substance abuse or anger management treatment.
  • They have not violated or failed to comply with any term of their criminal sentence(s). 
  • They have no criminal charge(s) pending.
  • They must be engaged in, or seeking, lawful employment, an education, training, or registered in other rehabilitative programs or have a lawful source of support.
  • Belief of the court that granting the “Certificate of Relief” would not put the safety or welfare of the public or any individual at unreasonable risk.

But perhaps the most important result of a “Certificate of Relief”, at least to employers, is that it helps protect them from liability when it comes to most negligent hiring claims. 

Considering a "Certificate of Relief", along with other background check information, to determine employment helps prove that they have done their due diligence and vetted that employee to make the safest hire possible.

In addition to the “Certificate of Relief”, many other states are revamping their expungement procedures, especially when it comes to first-time, non-violent, offenders.

These states are passing legislation that will expand the ability of ex-offenders to have their record expunged.  

In many cases, it will be is as if their conviction never existed. A job applicant would be then be able to legally state that they have never been convicted of a crime.

Many believe it is a way to give an ex-offender a second chance. Others feel it is simply a way for those convicted of a crime to hide their past”.

Find out more about the pros and cons of expungement in “Expunging Criminal Records ~ What You Need to Know”!

I believe that a “Certificate of Relief” is of more value to an employer than an expungement.

A “Certificate of Relief” still reveals an applicant’s criminal history and it offers proof that the ex-offender has met a specific set of requirements and has taken steps to move beyond their past. It also offers some protection for employers.

An expungement, however, tries to “hide” a criminal history entirely from employers, while still making them vulnerable to potential negligent hiring lawsuits.

This is unfair and results in more employers being wary to hire ex-offenders at all.

No hiring decision should ever be made blindly. 

It is possible to hire an ex-offender and to do so safely and with eyes wide open.

The key is to never skip the background check. Be sure to do background checks on each and every new hire, and use re-screening and workplace observation post-hire!

Background checks play an essential role in any businesses’ hiring practices. They give you the information you need to make an informed and safe employment decision.

No matter what current or future employment laws and regulations dictate, it ultimately comes down to this ~ whether we choose to believe in second chances.

People cannot only be defined by their pasts. Our greatest ability as human beings is being able to learn from our mistakes. We need to recognize this.

We as employers and Background Check companies need to move past the notion that “Once a Criminal, Always a Criminal”.   

People can change.  And giving them another chance can help make that change more permanent”, excerpt from “Once a Criminal, Always a Criminal ~ Why We Need to Believe in Second Chances”!

Giving those with a criminal past a second chance, while protecting the interest of employers, is possible. And if more states consider offering a “Certificate of Relief” to qualified ex-offenders, we are closer than ever to making that a reality.

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Monday, July 24, 2017

Tips to Help You Use Your Background Check Report to Hire!

Do You know WHAT to do with the information found in your employment background check report? 

By now you know "Why" employment screening is so important to a quality hiring process.  You also know "How" to choose the best background check company for you.

And in case you missed them, here are links to Parts 1and 2 in this series on "Why" Do Background Checks and Part 2 on "How" to Pick the Right Screening Company for You!

But when it comes to actually USING the information you receive in your background check reports, many employers are stymied!

Employers and Hiring managers often worry about running afoul of local, state, and federal employment laws. Even ever changing EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) regulations cause angst.

The bottom line is ~ it doesn't have to be that way!

While I addressed how finding the right screening company solves some of these issues in Part 2 of this series, that does not mean that is where it ends.

As an employer, you also need to take into account how these laws and regulations impact your hiring policies and process.

This is where knowing "WHAT" information contained in your background check report you can legally consider when making your hiring decision is vital!

Before even considering making a new hire, you should work in conjunction with your background check provider to make sure your hiring policies are compliant. Avoiding and eliminating anything that could be considered discriminatory is key.

Any references in your job descriptions, help wanted postings, or anywhere within your hiring policies to age, sex, race, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, or anything else considered a "protected class" are taboo.  

Your Background Check Report is the Key to Hiring Safely and Effectively! "Tweet This"

Your dedication to hiring fairly and in compliance is even more important when it comes time to use your background check to make your final hiring decision.

Your background check report should be treated like your best friend. It is there to give you the honest truth and to help you make hiring decisions that are best for you and your company.

That is why it makes sense to use the information contained in that report wisely.

At the very least you will want to cross-check the information in your report with what was supplied by your applicant.

Do dates and title of employment mesh? Was the degree stated in their resume actually earned?

If you find that your applicant was honest about the information listed in their resume or application it can go a long way towards getting the employer / employee relationship off to the right start.

But it doesn't stop there.

The majority of employment screenings include criminal court record checks. And this is where you need to tread carefully. 

If you find that one of your favorite applicants has a prior criminal record, then there are definite guidelines you need to follow! 

Only under specific circumstances (where an industry is prohibited by law from hiring an ex-offender for example) can you simply dismiss from consideration anyone with a criminal record.

Instead, if your applicant has a criminal past, you need to first ask yourself the following:

  1. How recent was/were the conviction(s)? 
  2. How is this record relevant to your open position?

Your answers to these questions will help determine your next steps.

You can find more details on these questions and about how you can safely use your employment background check results in "You Have Your Background Check Report, Now What?"!

But what do you do if you decide that what you learn may keep you from offering your candidate the job?

This is where you need to understand your applicant's rights. If adverse information found in your candidate's background check report may prevent them from being hired, you must:

  • Notify the applicant, in writing, of your determination and provide them a copy of the Background Check Report.
  • Give the applicant the opportunity to correct the information in the Background Check Report or for them to offer information to mitigate the report’s findings.
  • Determine whether any additional information you receive from the applicant will reverse your initial decision to exclude the applicant from hire or promotion.
  • Notify the applicant of your final determination.

Only after you have complied with these steps can you legally make your final hiring decision.

In addition, it is vital that you document this entire process! You need to keep detailed notes as to what decisions you made concerning the hiring of your applicant and when you made them. Good records will help protect your company in the event of litigation.

You will find more information on safe hiring in "Tips to Help Your Business Fly Under the EEOC Radar".

Remember ~ Your background check report is there to help you. What you find there can help determine your applicant's honesty and decide whether they are qualified for the job.

It is knowing in advance "What" you can legally do with the information in that report that makes all the difference!

Want to learn more about how Background Checks can help You and Your Business Succeed? Contact Us!

API will work with you to develop a sound and compliant hiring program especially for your company!

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Monday, July 10, 2017

What You Need to Know about Background Checks

Why, When, and How Should You be Using Background Checks in Your Business?

This is the one big question that drove me to start my blog, and one that continues to stymy many business owners! 

Back in 2012, when I was just getting started with the whole social media marketing thing, I found that so many companies were confused and unsure about background checks. They really didn't understand how using them to help make hiring decisions was good for them and their business.

Many cited money reasons ~ after all, they were looking at spending their hard earned funds on someone that they may not even end up hiring. Others didn't think that the information they could find during an employment screening would really be of any value.

Then there were these 3 big questions ~ 

  1. Why should I use background checks to hire? 
  2. How can I choose a quality background check company? 
  3. What can do with the information in the background check report to help me hire?

Background Checks are Crucial to Every Good Hiring Process "Tweet This"!

This confusion prompted me to start off my blog with a 3 part series of articles designed to answer these questions and help alleviate the confusion ~ a lofty undertaking if I do say so myself!

I began by focusing my first article on the question of "Why" using screening potential employees makes sense.

I believe in this as a fundamental truth ~ employment background checks are a crucial step in helping you hire the most qualified and safest employees for your business.

Employment Screening will Help You:

  • Determine Your Applicant's honesty
  • Create a Safer Workplace
  • Protect Company Assets
  • Keep Compliant
  • Increase Your Protection from Lawsuits 

Discover more about the "why" of background checks in "5 Reasons Why You Need to Use Employment Background Checks".

In the next few weeks I will take a look back at the rest of this series and touch on "How" to choose the best background check company for you and "What" you can do with your background check report during your hiring process.

Please Pay it Forward and Comment and Share this article on Your Favorite Social Sites!

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Learn how API can Help You and Your Business by visiting our About Us, Background Investigation & Applicant Services, Business Mentoring, and Security Consulting Services pages.

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Monday, August 15, 2016

What States are Doing to Get Tough on the Issue of Equal Pay

Created by Kimberly Kline, API

Equal Pay for Equal Work.  
Definitely seems like an easy concept to grasp.  When two people are doing the same job, and bring to the table equal skills, then they should be paid the same.

But this is not the reality for many working women. Instead, we are low-balled when getting hired, and continue to be underpaid as compared to our male contemporaries (definitely something that would not fly if it happened due to race or religion!).

Screams of discrimination, doesn’t it?

Even right out of college, women are paid less than men. And the gap only continues to widen as we get older.  

Despite some shifts, women are often the primary caregivers when it comes to children and even dependent parents. Taking time off for pregnancy, or other family leave issues, also impacts our earnings.

We have been fighting for decades to close, and ultimately eliminate, this pay inequity.

Making less hurts us. No matter if we are single, married, or have a family, earning less has an effect. But if we are the primary or sole wage earner, the problem is even greater.  

This wage disparity also limits our retirement funds. Because we make less, we are able to save less, both for short and long term needs. And if we have a 401k, our lower base salary means that less is being contributed.

You can find out more about the effects of wage disparity on women here!

But we are not in this alone.

The EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) has also joined the fight. In an effort to address pay inequality, companies have been ordered to release their pay data by the end of 2016. It is hoped that by having this information, the EEOC will be also to identify companies who are guilty of wage bias. 

While some companies may already know they are paying their women employees less, some may be unaware. That is why bringing this to light by taking a clear look at a company’s pay data makes sense. 

However, the government is notoriously slow moving when it comes to enacting real change.

This is where states need to step in ~ 
and some have answered the call!

States Joining Fight for Equal Pay!  “Tweet This”

The state of Massachusetts has recently enacted the toughest equal pay law in the country

In addition to an emphasis on pay equity, this law forbids companies from asking their prospective employees what they are making at their current job.

The idea here is to eliminate the perpetuation of underpaying women.

Often times, women start out making less. It makes sense then that if every new employer can base their salary offer on what we made before, we will continue to be underpaid.

Instead, if employers are prohibited from asking salary history, then that cycle has a better chance of being broken. 

The MA law, and similar laws in other states, also bans pay secrecy. Employers in those states can no longer keep their employees from discussing salaries. And these employees also have recourse if they are fired because they shared what they make with others.

Some companies believe that keeping salaries private is necessary to curbing resentment from those that make less. But instead, pay transparency is seen as a way to reveal wage inequality and help close the pay gap.  

When employees are permitted to be completely open about what they make, pay inequity is less likely. It can also make employers more vigilant in their efforts to pay women equally.

The Massachusetts law has even taken it a step further. In addition to requiring that men and women who have the same job be paid the same, it also requires that those in “similar” positions are as well. “Similar” is defined as any jobs where the duties require the same skills and responsibilities. Job title alone cannot be a factor.

Often included in these equal pay packages are things like more flexible work schedules, child care considerations, and paid family and sick leave. These policies would help all employees, not just women.

Advocates for equal pay 
are campaigning for other states 
to join Massachusetts and pass 
stronger pay equity laws. 

In the meantime, responsible and proactive companies can help.  

By actively reviewing your own pay policies, you can ensure that you are not guilty of wage bias.

You can also take a look at your job applications and re-train any employees involved in the hiring process to make sure that they do not ask for salary history. And if you currently have a company policy prohibiting your employees from discussing salaries, eliminating that from your handbook would also make sense.  

Taking these steps gives you the chance to make any necessary changes now, before you draw the attention of the EEOC or your state passes their own pay equity law.

You will also help establish your company 
as a fair and conscientious employer.  
And what a boost to your brand that would be!

Authored by  

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Sunday, July 17, 2016

Ready to Hire? What Your Applicant Needs to Know!

Created by Kimberly Kline
Hiring is a stressful proposition ~ 
both for the employer and the applicant.  Employers are concerned about finding the right person for the job and having the right candidates apply.

Job seekers are worried about finding the job they really need. They question whether anyone will even call them in for an interview, let alone offer them the job.  

In many instances, both parties are fearful about the entire hiring process.  And this is especially true about the background check!

When it comes to background checks, I believe that knowledge and open communication are the answer to quashing those fears.

Open Background Check Communication Starts with You, the Employer!  "Tweet This"

The best place for this open communication to start is with You, the employer!

You need to be completely up front about What You will Check, What You are looking for in the background check, What Factors can Cause Delays in the Background Check, What Errors can be encountered during the entire process, and What are Your Applicant’s Rights.

What You will Check

The best place to start your explanation of the background check process is to discuss what you will be checking.  

The scope of the screening should be something that you decide long before even advertising your open position.  That scope is best when it starts with a well thought out job description.

A good job description will help you determine exactly what skills and experience you need to fill your position.  It will also help job seekers know whether  they will be a good fit with your company.

Find out more in “Job Descriptions ~ How to Write One and Why it is Important to Do it Right!”.

Beyond that, your job description will also be invaluable in deciding on what you need to include in the background check. The job’s duties will be your guide.

You will need to consider the level of your position (hourly, salary, management), whether they will have access to company assets or sensitive data, and if they will they have direct contact with clients, customers, and other employees.

Answering these questions will help you decide on the scope your background check needs!

Find out more in “One Size Does Not Fit All ~ Why You Need to Fit the Background Check to the Job”.  

What You are Looking For
As an employer, it is wise to share exactly what you are looking for when it comes to the background check.  Knowing this in advance can go a long way towards alleviating your applicant’s fears.

“This fear often arises out of a lack of understanding about what a background check really entails.  Applicants are confused about what will be checked, worried about their privacy being compromised, and don’t know what an employer is really looking for!”; excerpt from “Are You Afraid of Background Checks?  They are Not as Scary as You Think!”.

Created by Kimberly Kline

Possible Delays
While usually the screening process runs smoothly, there are things that can cause delays.  

These delays most commonly occur when trying to verify education and employments.  Often times the source is either unavailable or not responding in a timely manner.

However, delays can also happen when it comes time to contact courts for criminal or civil records.  Accuracy here is key, and it may be necessary to pull physical records to make sure they truly belong to your applicant.

No matter what the potential cause for delays may be, being proactive and sharing this information with your applicant makes sense.

Learn more in “The Life of a Background Check, Start to Finish” and 
“The Truth Behind Hiring ~ What Really Goes on When You Apply for a Job”.

Possible Errors

It is also important to explain that errors are possible during the screening process.

Common names, court records missing critical identifying information (date of birth, social security number, etc.), identity theft, and records that have not been updated to include the disposition or an expungement are all cause for background check errors.  

Mistakes can also occur due to human error.  Court record information can be entered incorrectly.  Names, addresses, and other identifying information may be mistyped.  

No matter what the cause, the most important thing is for you to explain this possibility to your applicant upfront. You should then assure them that all care will be taken to be as accurate as possible.

Find out more about potential causes for screening errors in “The Truth Behind Background Checks” and “Background Checks and Online Databases ~ What You Need to Know

Applicant’s Rights

Finally, before you even begin the background check process, it is essential that you explain your applicant’s rights.

You should first be completely forthcoming that a background check will be done.  You must then obtain a signed release from your applicant and inform them, in writing, of their rights if negative information is found during the process.

Those rights include providing your applicant a copy of their background check report, along with contact information for the company that provided the report.  Your applicant must be given these rights in writing.

In addition, your applicant has the chance to mitigate or deny the negative findings.

It is then required that you assess this additional information before making your final hiring decision.

The best way to accomplish this is through Individualized Assessments.

“Individualized Assessments are used when the background check on your applicant uncovers a criminal past that may keep you from hiring them.  And when this happens, there are specific steps you must follow to be compliant with EEOC guidelines.”  

Find out more in “Individualized Assessments ~ What They are and Why You Need to Use Them in Your Small Business”!

Preparing your applicants for the Hiring and Background Check process will go a long way towards creating a positive first impression about You and Your Company.

It will also make hiring the best candidate much smoother…and isn’t that your ultimate goal?

Need Help Hiring in Your Small Business? Contact Us!  
We will guide you in creating a Hiring Policy that works for You!

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Business Mentoring
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Sunday, January 10, 2016

Your 2016 Small Business Hiring Checklist ~ What You Need to Do Now

Hiring Tips for 2016

It is the start of another year, and you have worked hard to make your small business a success.  You may have increased your client base or are contemplating expanding your products or services.

The potential for increased workload has you thinking about how you will handle the volume.  

Now is the time when you should plan for possible new hires. That may be full time hires or even part-time or temporary hires.

Each type of hire has their own set of pros and cons.  

Learn more in “Is Your Company Ready to Hire? 10 Tips on When & How to Do it Right!”.

But no matter which type of hire you choose, pre-planning makes sense.  And the time is Now to get Your Small Business Ready.

This Small Business Hiring Checklist will help.

Get Your Small Business Ready to Hire with this Checklist!  “Tweet This”

Your #SmallBizHiring Checklist

  • Develop a Hiring Strategy

Your hiring strategy should include criteria that determines when and how to hire and your company’s goals.

For example, you can set hiring parameters such as, “I will hire when my workload or that of my employees increases 5-10%”, or “I will look internally for promotions, then replace at the entry level”.

Whatever you choose, it is important to really think about what will work for you and your company.

Being proactive and creating your hiring strategy long before you really need it is key.  

Putting it off is risky.  Not only will you have to scramble to get one in place under pressure, but you will most likely be adding to your strained workload or that of your existing employees.

  • Write the Perfect Job Descriptions

Taking the time to write the best job descriptions for your small business makes sense.  And once again, it is best to start this long before you need to hire. 

When done right, a good job description will not only help you hire the best candidate, it will also help promote your company brand.  

Your job descriptions help you hire by being specific about the skills and experience you need for your positions.  It will also help any potential job seekers know exactly what will be expected of them.

In addition, by using key words and phrases, you will be able to convey your working atmosphere and company culture.  Both are an important part of your Small Business Brand. 

You can find out more in Part 1 and Part 2 of my series, “Job Descriptions ~ How to Write One and Why it is Important to Do it Right!”. 

  • Make Your Small Business Attractive to Job Seekers

As a small business, you will be competing for top talent not only with other small businesses, but also with big business.  In order to attract the best hire, you should focus on what makes your company unique.

Don’t fall into the trap of trying to compete directly with what larger businesses can offer.

Instead, focus on creating the right company culture.  Develop ways to ensure talent is rewarded.  Keep in mind what employees really want, and find a way to meet their needs.  Take into consideration what is really relevant to their lives.

And salary is only a part of it.  Consider offering flexibility that addresses their personal needs, tangible rewards for good work, and even possible work from home opportunities.   

Remember, “Small Businesses get it wrong.  Many think that because they are small, they have less to offer their new hires than the big companies.  Because of this, they often settle for what they can get.

Even job seekers can fall into this trap.  Most often their goal is to work for a large company, often without even considering working for a small business.   They can’t see the benefits that a small business can bring to their level of experience and confidence.

It is time to change that mindset.”

Read more ways to set your small business apart in “4 Reasons Why Job Seekers will Want to Work for Your Small Business”!

Small Business Hiring Tips

  • Ensure Your Hiring Procedures are Compliant

Before you hire, you will also need to address issues that govern the hiring process.  There are local, state, and federal legislation you will have to consider.  In addition, EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) guidelines must be addressed.

A big part of this concerns your applications and applicant’s rights.

  • Update Your Applications

Your application, both paper and online, is most often one of the first introductions a job seeker has to your company and your open position (after your “help wanted” posting).

It is important that it is clear and concise.  Your application should request basic personal identification and contact information.  It should also ask for information related directly to the job you want to fill.

What it should not contain is any question concerning your applicant’s possible past criminal history.

This is where “Ban the Box” comes in.  

Many states and localities have passed legislation that prohibits you from asking your applicants about any criminal history early on in the hiring process (with many more sure to do so in the future).  

Continuing to include this question on your application opens you up to potential EEOC lawsuits.

You can discover more about “Ban the Box” in “Don’t Roll the Dice ~ Why You Need to ‘Ban the Box’ Now!”.

  • Know Your Applicant’s Rights

Your job applicants have rights when it comes to the employment background check.  It starts with you having to fully inform your applicant that a background check will be done, only proceeding after obtaining a signed release from your applicant, and informing your applicant, in writing, of their rights concerning that background check. 

You can find out more about these rights in “Summary of Your Rights” via the Small Business Association. (*Source 1)

  • Update Your Release and Disclosure Forms

According to the FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act), you must inform applicants that an employment background check will be done during the hiring process.  This disclosure must be given in writing and it must be in a “stand alone” document.  This means it cannot be contained within your application or background check release form.

Not complying with this requirement can lead to unwanted attention from the EEOC.  Read “Beware of Background Check Disclosure Risks” to find out more. (*Source 2)

  • Hire a Good Screening Company

To keep up with these hiring and compliance issues, you should consider hiring a good screening company to help.  Choose one that will work with you, as a partner, to keep you up-to-date with ever-changing hiring regulations and that will focus on your specific needs.  

What a Background Check Company can Do For You

Read more about why hiring an outside screening company is good for your small business in “5 Smart Reasons to Outsource Your Background Checks”.

Following this checklist will help get your Small Business ready to hire.  And the time to start is NOW!

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*Source 1: Summary of Your Rights Under the FCRA
*Source 2: Background Check Disclosure Risks

Sunday, August 23, 2015

You are the Target of an EEOC Lawsuit: What You Should Know!

#SmallBiz #EEOC

Finding yourself the target of an EEOC allegation or lawsuit can be scary.  You fear the stress of having to defend yourself in court, the possibility of being saddled with high fines, or even the prospect of losing your business.

But before you get yourself into full panic mode, there are things you should know and others that you should do that can help protect you and your business.

First and foremost, you should understand that you have rights.  In many ways, those rights parallel those that the EEOC insists be given to job candidates ~ you are entitled to clear notification of the charges and the chance to explain, mitigate, or remedy them.

In addition, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act states that the EEOC must engage in “informal methods of conference, conciliation, and persuasion” with you, the employer, before any lawsuit is filed. Only in the event that the conciliation has failed is the EEOC able to file in court.

Before filing a lawsuit, You Have the Right to:

  • Be Notified about the Alleged Infraction ~ this may be done by mail or email (so pay attention to your inbox!) 
  • Be Informed of the Alleged Harm Suffered by Your Employee(s)
  • Be Provided the Chance to Enter into Discussions with the EEOC concerning the Infraction
  • Be Given the Opportunity to Remedy the Situation

If the EEOC does decide to file a suit, they must include a sworn affidavit  that they have met all of these requirements.  But you also have the right to provide a statement of your own indicating what you believe to be the EEOC’s failure to do so. 

Here is where a Judicial Review begins.  

Courts are currently putting the EEOC on notice that how they handle employee allegations can be reviewed.  While their power may be limited to reviewing the EEOC’s efforts of conciliation, or lack of effort as the case may be, it is a start.  

The key point to remember is that the EEOC must comply with their Title VII obligations to conciliate with you before resorting to litigation.  This is your Right!

And if you are successful during the Judicial Review in proving your charges that the EEOC failed, then the court would order the EEOC into talks with you.  

While this will not clear you of the EEOC’s charges, it will give you the chance to enter into discussions with them and possibly even settle before any court proceedings begin.

That is why it is important that you know what you should do if you find yourself the subject of an EEOC allegation.  

4 Things to Do if the EEOC has Targeted You!  “Tweet This”

#SmallBiz #EEOCLitigation

Be Sure to:

  1. Respond Immediately to any EEOC Notifications of Alleged Infractions in Your Hiring Processes.
  2. Verify that the Notification includes a detailed description of the infraction and the alleged harm it caused to your employee(s).
  3. Request that the EEOC enter into conciliation with you to resolve the issue prior to the filing of any lawsuit.
  4. Keep Detailed Documentation of everything concerning the case; letters and/or emails from the EEOC, transcripts of any discussions, and the results of those communications and discussions. 

Being proactive and requesting, in writing, that the EEOC lives up to their obligations of notification and conciliation helps you keep some control over the situation.  And your thorough records of all steps taken will be invaluable in the event of litigation.

Then, if the EEOC still files a lawsuit, be sure to request a judicial review to determine whether the EEOC truly met their Title VII obligations.

Before it ever comes to this, there are steps you can take to help your small business fly under the EEOC radar.  You can find more about them here

Discovering you are a target of the EEOC does not have to ruin you.  If you take steps beforehand to be as prepared as possible, understand your rights, and know what to do if the EEOC notifies you of an alleged infraction, then you are ahead of the game.

And that is a much better place to be!

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