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Kaplan Higher Education in trouble over screening practices

Dec 27, 2010 Matt Roesly

Employers regularly engage in background screening before hiring applicants, but in the case of Kaplan Higher Education, that screening was used as a malicious way to weed out job applications, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Kaplan, which services numerous fronts of student preparation for college, including pro-profit universities, is being sued by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for failing to hire candidates based solely on personal economic data collected through consumer credit reports. The charges against Kaplan include minority discrimination based on credit reporting data, and the lawsuit aims to recover lost wages, benefits and job offers lost due to the discrimination, AOL News reports. "This practice has an unlawful discriminatory impact because of race and is neither job-related nor justified by business necessity," the EEOC said in a statement. Kaplan's position states that credit screening is vital to employment opportunities because potential candidates would be dealing with topics such as financial aid and loans. Currently, many states ban the use of financial credit screenings as a precursor to employment because they can influence hiring decisions based on a person's economic standing.