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Furniture Retailer Agrees to Revise Background Check Policy, Reinforcing Importance of Complying with EEOC Enforcement Guidance

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and Rooms To Go, a large furniture retailer, have reached a voluntary conciliation agreement to resolve allegations of race discrimination raised as a result of the company's background screening policies.

Under the cooperative agreement, the company agreed to revise its hiring and screening policies to remove blanket exclusions for criminal convictions, allowing all applicants to undergo an individualized assessment during the hiring process.

Additionally, Rooms To Go will remove criminal history questions from its job applications and postpone those questions under later in the hiring process.

The resulting agreement serves as a reminder of the importance of complying with the EEOC's enforcement guidance, including the individualized assessment process.

The EEOC's guidance – Consideration of Arrest and Conviction Records in Employment Decisions under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 – is available here.

Source: Ogletree Deakins, 10/8/2018

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