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Last week, the EEOC held a hearing to examine the impact of only considering employed applicants for job vacancies. EEOC Chair Jacqueline Berrien stated:
“Throughout its 45 year history, the EEOC has identified and remedied discrimination in hiring and remains committed to ensuring job applicants are treated fairly. [The] meeting gave the Commission an important opportunity to learn about the emerging practice of excluding unemployed persons from applicant pools.”
Several experts testified during the hearing, including:
Helen Norton, Associate Professor at the University of Colorado School of Law; Fatima Goss Graves, Vice President for Education and Employment of the National Women’s Law Center; Algernon Austin, Director of the Program on Race, Ethnicity, and the Economy of the Economic Policy Institute; Dr. William Spriggs, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Policy; Christine Owens, Executive Director of the National Employment Law Project; James Urban, partner at Jones Day; Fernan Cepero, representing the Society of Human Resource Professionals.
In this installment of The Proactive Employer Podcast, we provide some highlights of the testimony given at the meeting, and talk about how limiting the candidate pool to employed individuals may have a disparate impact on racial minorities and individuals with disabilities. We also discuss some of the key issues employers are attempting to address by using employment status, and provide some suggestions on alternative screening criteria to address those key issues.