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Pepsi settles in criminal background screening case

Jan 28, 2012 Matt Roesly

Pepsi recently reached a settlement with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) following claims that it used race discrimination during its background check and credit report process, The Associated Press reports. The $3.1 million settlement was reached after EEOC investigators determined the company's policies excluded more than 300 African American applicants. Pepsi denied prospects who had been arrested but not convicted of a crime as well as others convicted of minor offenses. "I commend Pepsi's willingness to reexamine its policy and modify it to ensure that unwarranted roadblocks to employment are removed," EEOC chairwoman Jacqueline Berrien said in a statement, as quoted by the news source. Pepsi has since implemented a new criminal background check policy and will make positions available to applicants who were denied by the old rules, as long as they are qualified. Reuters reports that the Federal Bonding program offered by the Department of Labor gives employers six months of free "dishonesty insurance" if they hire an at-risk job seeker, lowering the legal repercussions that may arise if the worker is fired.