Think the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s not serious about investigating how employers use the results of employee background checks? Check out this case.
Pepsi Beverages has agreed to pay $3.13 million and provide job offers and training to resolve a charge of race discrimination filed with the EEOC.
An EEOC investigation found that the criminal background check policy formerly followed by Pepsi discriminated against African Americans in violation of federal anti-bias laws.
According to a press release from the EEOC, more than 300 African Americans were adversely affected when Pepsi applied a criminal background check policy that disproportionately excluded black applicants from permanent employment.
Under Pepsi’s policy, job applicants who had been arrested pending prosecution were not hired for a permanent job even if they had never been convicted of any offense.
Pepsi’s policy also denied employment to applicants from employment who had been arrested or convicted of certain minor offenses.
Following the EEOC probe, Pepsi adopted a new criminal background check policy.
In addition to the monetary relief, Pepsi will offer employment opportunities to victims of the former criminal background check policy who still want jobs at Pepsi and are qualified for the jobs for which they apply.
The company will also supply the EEOC with regular reports on its hiring practices under the new policy, and conduct anti-bias training for its hiring personnel and all managers.