Pepsi and the Art of Criminal Background Checks…

Here's where the moderate republican comes out in me... emphasis on moderate...From the Washington Post:

"Pepsi Beverages Co. has agreed to pay $3.1 million to settle federal charges of race discrimination Pepsi for using criminal background checks to screen out job applicants — even if they weren’t convicted of a crime.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which is working to crackdown on hiring policies that can hurt blacks and Hispanics, said Wednesday that the company’s policy of not hiring workers with arrest records disproportionately excluded more than 300 black applicants. The policy barred applicants with arrest records even if they had never been convicted of a crime, and denied employment to those arrested or convicted of minor offenses.

Using arrest and conviction records to deny employment can be illegal if it’s irrelevant for the job, according to the EEOC, which enforces the nation’s employment discrimination laws. The agency says such blanket policies can limit job opportunities for minorities with higher arrest and conviction rates than whites."

I've never been at a place where you used anything other than hard convictions, so I agree that Pepsi had to do some work here (moderate).  But, a conviction is a whole other level, and I'd defend the company's ability to use that in a variety of ways when considering candidates (Republican).  Isn't that common sense?

Important to note on this one that it only affects 300 candidates, and Pepsi has to see tens of thousands of candidates annually.  This is an example of someone making a de-centralized decision - poorly.  It doesn't mean Pepsi isn't a great employer.

It also might be an example of a HR pro in the field who couldn't stand up and say "no" to operators who wanted to do what they wanted.  Oops.

Live and learn.  Email this to people who want to use anything and everything on the background.  

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