| DISCRIMINATION

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THE VAST MAJORITY OF BUSINESSES CONDUCT BACKGROUND CHECKS AND USE THEM TO MAKE HIRING DECISIONS.

A number of laws regulate how employers may use criminal records in the hiring process, but nothing in the law says employers can’t ultimately refuse to hire on the basis of a criminal record. 

 

Because criminal records are not simply attached to harmful actions, but rather to people who have been arrested and prosecuted, their distribution can only be as “fair” as the U.S. criminal punishment system itself. Given systemically racialized, gendered and classed patterns in policing, sentencing and punishment, criminal background screening cannot avoid disparate impact.

 

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The Rise of Criminal Background Screening in Employment

Written by Melissa Burch
Illustrated by Carolina Jones
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GO FURTHER

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HOW EMPLOYERS USE CRIMINAL RECORDS

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RACE, GENDER AND CRIMINAL RECORDS

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