EEOC and Nationwide Facilities Services Provider Settle Record-Keeping Suit After Federal Judge Holds That EEOC Regulation Is Mandatory
PHILADELPHIA - Crothall Services Group, Inc., a nationwide provider of janitorial and facilities management services based in Wayne, Pa., will adopt significant changes to its record-keeping practices relating to its use of criminal background checks to settle a record-keeping suit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced today.
According to EEOC's lawsuit, Crothall was using criminal history assessments to make hiring decisions without making and keeping required records that would disclose the impact the assessments have on persons identifiable by race, sex, or ethnic group.
Failure to make and keep such records violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Title VII protects individuals from discrimination in employment because of race, sex, national origin, color, or religion, including certain employment practices that have a disparate impact on employees in protected groups. Title VII, together with record-keeping regulations found in the Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures (UGESP), require employers to maintain records disclosing the impact their selection procedures have upon employment opportunities of persons identifiable by race, sex, or ethnic group.
EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Crothall Services Group, Inc., Civil Action No. 2:15-cv-03812-AB). On June 28, U.S. District Court Judge Anita B. Brody held that the UGESP record-keeping regulation is mandatory. On December 16, 2016, Judge Brody entered the consent decree settling the suit.
During the decree's four-year term, if Crothall Services Group intends to obtain or assess any person's criminal history information, the company must first make and keep records identifying the person's gender, race, and ethnicity. Once Crothall has reviewed any person's criminal history information or conducted any criminal history assessment, it also has to keep records of the criminal history information, the results of any criminal history assessment, and any employment decision made based on any criminal history assessment. The decree further requires record keeping relating to complaints about Crothall's use of criminal history information and assessments, including complaints of discrimination, and regular reporting to EEOC throughout the decree's duration.
"Employers should take note that if they choose to rely on a selection procedure such as criminal background screening, they are required to create and maintain records that allow an assessment of whether the selection procedure has a disparate impact based on race, national origin or sex," said EEOC General Counsel David Lopez. "This case clarifies that the record-keeping rule is not permissive, but rather is mandatory and enforceable in a court of law."
Regional Attorney Debra Lawrence of EEOC's Philadelphia District Office added, "EEOC is pleased with the terms of this decree, which requires compliance with mandatory UGESP record-keeping regulations and monitoring of the employer's use of criminal history information as a selection criterion."
EEOC Philadelphia District Office has jurisdiction over Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, West Virginia and parts of New Jersey and Ohio.
EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov. Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.