Being a background screening company we often only focus on the EEOC’s guidance on criminal records. It’s something that directly concerns our business, our clients and our reports but the EEOC plays a much bigger role in the employment world. For today’s post I am going to give a brief run-down of the EEOC and what it monitors, followed by a list of rules every employer should remember.


The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or the EEOC exists to enforce federal law. Specifically laws that apply to work discrimination, including: hiring, firing, harassment, disability and more. The EEOC goes beyond enforcement, from investigation to guidance, it does its best to ensure everyone is treated equal in the workforce. The EEOC works hard to keep everyone up to date and informed about employment laws with vast resources online such as: publications, prohibited practices for employers, discrimination types and references for employees. All of this and more can be found at the EEOC website.

Types of Discrimination:

12 Rules or Prohibited Practices all Employers should know:

The EEOC started a strategic enforcement campaign in the 2013 and plans to continue strict enforcement through 2016. Avoid a claim and stay off the EEOC’s radar by following all these rules when it comes to applicants and employees.

  1. Never place any preference relating to age, sex, race, etc. in a job advertisement.
  2. Recruitment should be done in a comprehensive manner to reach a large and diverse audience.
  3. If using a pre-employment test – be sure it relates to the position and is fair to all applicants who must take it.
  4. When using background screening – use more than the results to decide if a candidate is responsible, reliable and safe for employment. i.e. personal interview.
  5. When assigning a position or promoting an employee do so based on skill and job performance; rather than personal preference.
  6. Know the guidelines for reasonable accommodation and be able to provide it if the situation arises.
  7. Employee references should be given based on performance; never refuse to give a reference and if the situation calls for a negative response communicate the performance issue clearly.
  8. Stay professional in the workplace and take all harassment claims seriously.
  9. Make sure pre-employment inquiries are job related to the open position. All personal information should remain off limits.
  10. Have a set standard for terms & conditions of employment. Breaks, time off and work assignments should be given fairly.
  11. Similar to term & conditions have a set dress code. This should be enforced equally as well.
  12. Keep a tolerable workplace, never suggest it’s time for an employee to leave or try and make them leave voluntarily.

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