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PRESS RELEASE
9-30-14

Background Screening Company Adopts Revised Procedures in Cooperation with EEOC

DALLAS -- The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and The Cole Group have reached an agreement reflecting the job applicant screening company's implementation of revised policies and practices to ensure that its pre-employment screenings comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), the Genetic Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA), and the anti-retaliation provisions of the federal civil rights laws enforced by the EEOC. The Cole Group screens applicants for hundreds of companies nationwide.

The cooperative agreement with the EEOC acknowledges The Cole Group's proactive changes to screening policies and practices, employee training guidelines and website information, to ensure compliance with the ADA and GINA with regard to applicants. It has assured that a job applicant's medical history and any civil rights, personal injury, or workers compensation claims made by an applicant against his or her prior and present employers are not inquired into and will not be disseminated to prospective employers.

"Increasing employment opportunities through forward-thinking hiring and recruitment models is what both the EEOC and businesses should support," said Janet Elizondo, director of the EEOC's Dallas District Office. "In doing so, it is important for the EEOC to engage, not only with employers directly, but also with their business partners who play an important role in facilitating connections between jobs and jobseekers."

Donald Cole of The Cole Group said, "In an effort to continue the level of customer service provided by The Cole Group for our 41 years in business, we take pride in being able to certify to our clients that we are always working to ensure that our background check services contemplate expectations of the Commission. The current employment landscape encompasses expanding scrutiny of employer hiring practices by regulatory authorities.  Employers want and have the right to expect to hire applicants of good character and to have quality and compliant background checks. Our agreement with the EEOC will enhance our commitment and ability to ensure that our clients accomplish those goals."

The EEOC has enforcement authority for the employment provision of the ADA (Title I), which prohibits private employers, state and local governments, employment agencies and labor unions from discriminating against qualified individuals with disabilities in job application procedures, hiring, discharge, advancement, compensation, job training, and other terms and conditions of employment.

The EEOC also enforces Title II of GINA, which prohibits employers from using an applicant's or employee's genetic information or family genetic history when making employment decisions, and other anti-discrimination statutes. Further information about the agency is available at www.eeoc.gov.