EEOC to Hold Meeting and Provide Guidance on the Use of Arrest and Conviction Records as well as Reasonable Accommodation and Undue Hardship Under the ADA
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) intends to hold a public meeting on April 25, 2012 to discuss enforcement guidance on the legality of considering arrest and conviction records in making hiring decisions, and guidance on reasonable accommodation and undue hardship under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
The April 25 meeting will not be the first time the EEOC has considered these issues. In July 2011, the EEOC held a public meeting to discuss the use an applicant’s criminal record. Three months later the EEOC’s Office of Legal Counsel released an advisory opinion on employer use of arrest and conviction records during the hiring process. This non-binding document suggested that the Commission (1) will continue to differentiate between arrest and conviction records; (2) may not be prepared to adopt a presumption of disparate impact in this context; and (3) will in the event of a finding of disparate impact, closely scrutinize the employer's policy with regard to both how long convictions are disqualifying and whether the underlying criminal conduct is related to the job duties for the position in question. It is expected that the EEOC will offer additional guidance on this topic during the April 25 meeting.
Similarly, in June 2011 the EEOC held a separate meeting to discuss reasonable accommodations and leaves of absence under the ADA. During that meeting the agency indicated that it would release further enforcement guidance on these ADA matters. It is anticipated that the EEOC will provide such guidance during next week’s meeting or shortly thereafter.
The meeting is scheduled to begin at 9:30 ET in the Commission Meeting Room on the First Floor of the EEOC Office Building, 131 “M” Street, NE, Washington, D.C. 20507. Those interested in attending are asked to arrive 30 minutes ahead of time due to limited seating.
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