The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission may re-examine regulations on background screenings for potential job applicants, in an effort to stem the number of minorities who are barred from jobs based on arrest or conviction records.
According to The Washington Post, federal policy currently mandates that firms can't bar a potential candidate from a job based on his or her criminal record, unless that record is related to the job he or she will perform. "The EEOC and other anti-discrimination advocates argue that because African Americans and Hispanics have higher rates of arrest and convictions than whites, they could suffer discrimination if companies do blanket criminal background checks
that eliminate them from consideration for a job," Lisa Rein wrote for the source. However, some advocacy groups claim that background screenings give employers more information than they would have had otherwise. In a similar effort, San Francisco recently began discussing an effort that would require landlords and employers to overlook a job applicant's criminal record, provided it were not a sex offense or violent crime. Supporters of the ban claim it will help convicts who have been released from winding up back in jail.