PC and Criminal Background Checks

Wow!  Talk about political correctness (PC) run amok.  This has to be the most outrageous antic by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) since last year's debacle against Pepsi, and the 2009 shakedown of Skilled Healthcare Group, Inc.  The EEOC, using our tax dollars, is actually suing two companies that do not permanently employ people who have criminal records: BMW and Dollar General.  It seems that the EEOC found what it characterized as "statistical disparities" in the hiring rates of "blacks and nonblacks" after BMW and Dollar General ran criminal background checks on prospective employees. 

In what has to be the doings of some crazy and/or power-mad people, the EEOC issued guidelines in 2012 that cautioned companies against not hiring minority applicants who have committed a crime.  The EEOC actually recommended that companies eliminate policies that "exclude people from employment based on a criminal record."

The EEOC says that criminal background checks eliminate potential employees, and that employers should review each applicant and take the crime into consideration.  The EEOC says that an automatic hiring ban of people found to have criminal records is tantamount to discriminating against black job applicants, which is, in its opinion, a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  But nowhere can I find any guidance from the EEOC regarding "consideration."  The EEOC is quick to condemn and sue companies, yet it offers no guidance. 

The EEOC accused Dollar General of "gross disparity" based on race.  Dollar General, during a three-year period, revoked conditional employment offers for 10 percent of its black applicants but did the same for only 7 percent of "nonblack" applicants.  Got that?  The EEOC accused Dollar General of "gross disparity" based on race.  Keep these percentages in mind as you read further.

The EEOC accused BMW of a similar racial disparity.  BMW (South Carolina) requires all of its contractors to subject their employees to criminal background checks.  UTi Integrated Logistics (UTi) is one of the contractors.  "The EEOC says that because 80% of the terminated employees [at UTi] were black, BMW 'disproportionately screened out African Americans from jobs.'"  Got that?

The EEOC has stepped up its efforts to get companies to refrain from using criminal background checks to screen job applicants because the Dear Leader Barack Hussein Obama administration says it discriminates against blacks.  But here are two facts that the Obama administration and the EEOC seem to have missed (or purposely ignored?):

1. From the Census Bureau, the 2011 estimate is that blacks constitute 13.1 percent of the U.S. population.

2. From the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), arrests in 2011 were:




Murder and non-negligent manslaughter



Forcible rape






Aggravated assault









Discrimination?  Where?  If, as the EEOC and Obama claim, criminal background checks are discriminatory, then, in order for them to be discriminatory, the rates of crimes by race should be about the same as the population race percentages.  But they're not -- not even close.  Yet the EEOC had the chutzpah to accuse Dollar General of "gross disparity" because the EEOC found a 3-percent non-hiring disparity.

And it accuses BMW of "statistical disparities" when following its hiring policies.  Never mind that those terminated were let go because they had criminal records.  But the EEOC seems to ignore "statistical disparities" and "gross disparities" evident in the general population.  These government numbers kinda put the EEOC's "statistical disparities" in perspective, don't they?

Perhaps BMW's and Dollar General's error was to not contribute enough to Obama's campaigns, or to hire his cronies.

As if the above is not bad enough, New York City Democrats now want crime reports to be PC.  They want to "... pass a bill that would limit a description of a suspect [and] to identify suspects essentially by the clothes they wear only."  If this bill passes, then a description of a suspect's sex, race, and age -- anything that might assist apprehension -- would be prohibited.  The bill, sponsored by Democrats Jumaane Williams and Brad Ladner, will, if passed, permit police to be sued for racial profiling if they transmit a description of a suspect that goes beyond the color of his or her clothing.  Williams and Ladner say that "... it would only expand the city's existing racial-profiling law by adding other demographic groups that should be protected, such as the homeless and gay people."

Don't get me wrong.  This is not about blacks or whites or race.  It is about PC and Democrats, about craziness, about the EEOC and Obama administration ignoring government numbers in order to advance agendas.  I'm all for equal employment, but when the EEOC ignores its own government numbers, files lawsuits, and ultimately tries to tell companies who they can and can't hire, it has overstepped its bounds.  All, they say, in the name of opportunity.  This is PC at its worst.

Facts are meaningless.  Are we living in a bizarro-world, or what?  All we can do is shake our heads in disbelief.

Dr. Warren Beatty (not the liberal actor) earned a Ph.D. in quantitative management and statistics from Florida State University.  He was a (very conservative) professor of quantitative management specializing in using statistics to assist/support decision-making.  He has been a consultant to many small businesses and is now retired.   Dr. Beatty is a veteran who served in the U.S. Army for 22 years.  He blogs at rwno.limewebs.com.