At least tens of thousands of African-Americans and Latinos could have greater access to U.S. Census Bureau jobs under a settlement agreement to revamp the application process, according to court papers.
The agreement, which still needs court approval, stems from a 2010 lawsuit brought by several African-American and Latino plaintiffs who had applied for temporary jobs with the agency — but were rejected because of inaccurate or missing FBI arrest and conviction info, their lawyers say.
The suit said that old, minor offenses were used to deny some of the applicants. Roughly 450,000 African-Americans and Latinos might have been affected by the skewed screening process.
As part of the deal, the agency will design a more equitable application process, lawyers for the plaintiffs said.
"Many private employers use overbroad criminal background screens to deny jobs to the millions of persons who have criminal records, further ensuring that they are consigned to a lifetime of struggle to find work," said Ossai Miazad, the applicants’ lawyer.
The U.S. Census Bureau confirmed the settlement agreement.