Discrimination & Harassment

Background Checks, Credit History & Criminal Record

Outten & Golden attorneys represent people who have been denied employment because of information an employer received through a background check, including credit histories and criminal records. In certain situations, an employer’s use of this information to make an employment decision violates the law.

Employers are increasingly conducting background checks on applicants and using criminal and credit history as grounds for denying employment. Because of the racial and ethnic disparities in the criminal justice system and in the credit rating system, the use of background checks can result in discrimination. Even though the discrimination may not be intentional, the federal Civil Rights Act and a number of state and local laws make it illegal for an employer to use a screening device that causes a disparate impact based on an individual's race or ethnicity.

Contact Employment Discrimination Attorneys

Outten & Golden lawyers can help individuals determine whether their criminal or credit history played a role in an employment decision and, if so, whether they have grounds for pursuing a case against the employer. If you believe you have been subjected to background check or criminal record employment discrimination, please contact the firm through the ”Contact Us" form or by calling us in the New York, Chicago, San Francisco, or Washington, DC office (see bottom of page for phone numbers) to begin the Outten & Golden intake process.

For more information on Credit History, Criminal History, and Background Checks, please visit the Criminal and Credit History Discrimination website.

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Target settles claims it screened blacks, Hispanics out of jobs

Reuters—Jonathan Stempel

Target Corp has agreed to pay $3.74 million and upgrade its hiring process to settle a lawsuit claiming its use of criminal background checks kept thousands of black and Hispanic job applicants from getting employment.

The preliminary settlement filed on Thursday with the U.S. District Court in Manhattan requires a judge’s approval.

It resolves claims that the Minneapolis-based retailer, which has performed background checks for employment in U.S. stores since 2001, violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employers from discriminating based on race, gender and...

Target Agrees to Review Screening of Job Applicants Amid Claims of Bias

The New York Times—Business Day—Colin Moynihan

Target agreed on Thursday to revise guidelines for how it screens people seeking jobs at its stores, a step meant to quell complaints that the retailer discriminates against black and Hispanic applicants with criminal records that can include offenses too minor or old to affect their performance as employees.

The move comes in a labor market so tight that companies are hiring applicants they would not have considered before, including people who have criminal records or, in some cases, are still incarcerated.

Those pressing the complaints against Target said the agreement announced on...