EEOC, Crothall OK Record-Keeping Accord

Posted January 18, 2017 at 6:10 pm

Crothall Services Group Inc., Wayne, PA, recently affirmed that it would follow legal requirements for record-keeping practices related to its use of criminal background checks. The statement was included in a Consent Decree that enabled the company to settle a lawsuit on record-keeping brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), according to an agency news release.

Crothall told Textile Services Weekly that the company denied any wrongdoing, but that it would follow all requirements for recordkeeping. “Crothall Services Group entered into the Consent Decree with the EEOC to resolve a lawsuit involving alleged recordkeeping violations,” a company spokesman said. “This Decree does not contain any admission of wrongdoing, and Crothall denies that it has violated federal laws or regulations. It has merely agreed to make and keep certain records in connection with its assessments of individuals' criminal history information.”

The EEOC had alleged that Crothall was using criminal history assessments to make hiring decisions without making and keeping the required records that would disclose the impact that 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 on employment opportunities of persons identifiable by race, sex or ethnic group.

EEOC filed its lawsuit 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, 2016. U.S. District Court Judge Anita B. Brody held that the UGESP record-keeping regulation is mandatory. On Dec. 16, 2016, Judge Brody entered the consent decree settling the suit. 

During the four-year term of the decree, 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 assessment of criminal history. 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 term of the decree.

"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." Click here for details.