June 12, 2013

EEOC sues BMW and Dollar General for doing criminal background checks...

... because of the  disparate impact on black people.
The suit against BMW Manufacturing Co. alleges the company disproportionately screened out African-Americans from jobs....

In the suit against Dolgencorp, doing business as Dollar General, the EEOC alleges the company's background-check policy, which looks back 10 years, results in a disparate impact against African-American workers....

The EEOC in April 2012 issued updated guidelines related to employer use of arrest and conviction records in employment decisions under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. The guidance noted that in the past 20 years a rising number of Americans "have had contact with the criminal justice system" as well as "a major increase in the number of people with criminal records in the working-age population."

According data cited in the EEOC's guidelines, the portion of adults in the U.S. that have served jail terms has risen from 1.8% in 1991 to 2.7% in 2001. By the end of 2007, 3.2% of adults in the U.S. were under some form of correctional control involving probation, parole, prison or jail. Meanwhile, African-Americans and Hispanics are arrested at a rate that is two times to three times their proportion of the general population.
ADDED: What about the disparate impact on men? Maybe the EEOC is OK with that.

91 comments:

jacksonjay said...


Agonizing over a pissing contest, not a word about disparate impact?

tim in vermont said...

meanwhile, other businesses are required to perform same....

Skeptical Voter said...

Will the EEOC file suit against employers who require passing a drug and alcohol test before hiring? I'm certain that will have a disparate effect against black folks as well.

Of course what any employer really, really wants is a drug impaired employee working around heavy equipment or on an assembly line.

And a retail store just loves to have employees with a shop lifting or petty theft record.

jacksonjay said...


Blacks don't commit crimes, they are just accused of committing crimes!

Terry said...

If this suit is successful, the people most hurt will be people applying for jobs that are not ex-cons. It will no longer be an advantage in employment not to have been convicted of a crime.
That's the way it goes in liberal bizzaro-world.

Henry said...

So the government convicts minorities at a disproportionate rate.

Then the government sues companies that checks the records of the people they've convicted.

Nice racket.

Pogo said...

Just wait until healthcare is similarly forced to hire drug abusers, thieves, rapists, gangbangers, and pedophiles.

Thanks, Obama!

Unknown said...

Is it possible to counter-sue, alleging the legal system discriminates based on disparate impact studies?

Mitchell the Bat said...

If I were a black guy, I'd want them to know I do powdered cocaine but never crack.

madAsHell said...

Wait until they check the prison population!!

Pogo said...

Removing the consequences from behavior is what the left is all about.

So it devolves to: Why be good?
What end does good behavior serve?
Why not just lie, cheat, and steal, since it will not negatively impact your life?
Why not rape? Why not burgle? Why not deal drugs? Why not traffic in humans?

Your past is meaningless and can't be used against you.

SteveR said...

All is proceeding as I have foreseen

El Pollo Raylan said...

BMW should fight this and prevail. It is affirmative action for criminals.

rhhardin said...

Survival of the narrative is everything.

Saint Croix said...

That's like saying that sending people to prison has a disparate impact on black people. And men!

Can't wait for affirmative action for prisons. Let's make our prisons look like America!

El Pollo Raylan said...

Jesse Jackson is from Greenville, SC, correct? There is a BMW plant outside Greenville, correct?

It's only a matter of time.

raf said...

Your past is meaningless and can't be used against you

That's not true if you happen to be a white male. Then other people's past can even be used against you.

edutcher said...

I wonder if 5 years of Hopenchange has anything to do with it.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

Have I ever been convicted of a crime? No, never convicted...

Aridog said...

By God, arrest more white people! The government is causing disparate impact by arresting and charging more of minority groups than their representation in the population!

Math is hard for government.

gerry said...

Just wait until healthcare is similarly forced to hire drug abusers, thieves, rapists, gangbangers, and pedophiles.

Hey, pedophilia may not be far from being an approved, non-pathological behavior. Careful, you may be labeled a pedophobe!

fivewheels said...

What this tells me is that BMW is using non-UAW workers, and that someone high up at Dollar General is a Republican.

Scott M said...

"STOP BREAKING THE LAW, ASSHOLE!"

Fletcher, Liar, Liar

Cedarford said...

Hmmmm..will this extend to the Federal Government the EEOC is part of?
The Armed Forces?
Hiring policy for the Capital Police and Secret Service?

I know of a highly decorated state trooper, just perfect for the Secret Service, that served time in the early 2000s for beating up his girlfriend pretty badly.

Nonapod said...

There's something like 5-6 million voting age adults who've been convicted of a felony. That's a whole untapped group of democrat voters. I'm surprised there hasn't been more of a push from Dems to overturn those rules.

The Drill SGT said...

We knew this EEOC idiocy was coming. The irony is that the EEOC has no problem with lawsuits against firms for the behavior of subcontractors, yet the Feds use the same practices in their hiring and impose it rigidly on their contractors.

AprilApple said...

While this nonsense is going on...

Marco Rubio and others are imploding the party to achieve Chuck Schumer’s dream.

Aridog said...

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

Have I ever been convicted of a crime? No, never convicted...

No traffic tickets that you didn't get dismissed? Nothing?

Upon enlisting I thought a flight school might be neat...uh, no, something about the 28 points I had accumulated in one year with my 400+ HP W30 Olds 442.

I wuz discriminated against....I demand reparations for white guys with full time jobs who didn't get to fly because of being able to afford cars that could outrun the cops on a good night.

Oh, wait...

Michael K said...

The next step is requiring firms to hire black criminals.

And they can't fire them if they commit more crimes.

EDH said...

Henry nails it, above.

SGT Ted said...

Diversity Bullshit tag needed on this one. Only a liberal would hold a private company accountable for what government actually did.

Black people are never responsible for their actions, its always Devil Whiteys Fault. Especially if the black person has bags of crack and weed when he is arrested; the police are racist to find the drugs on him.

Marshal said...

It's funny how all those slippery slope warnings eventually come true. It's like the people issuing the warnings understand how institutions evolve while those denying the warnings aren't interested in understanding the consequences of their principles or policies.

rhhardin said...

My theory is that Rubio is being blackmailed.

Or he could just be nuts.

AllenS said...

So, 3.2% of adults in the U.S. were under some form of correctional control involving probation, parole, prison or jail, and employers need to accomodate them? WTF?

BMW needs to move their manufacturing plants overseas.

Brennan said...

It is a little odd that some of these employees were already working for a contractor at the BMW facilities. Then the background checks were expanded by the contractor per request for BMW and these employees were then let go.

That seems like collusion with the contractor to get rid of current people to hire new, less expensive employees. What I mean is, were the new employees hired also black or hispanic, but just at lower pay rates?

edutcher said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Drill SGT said...

Aridog,

You must not have been a Californian.

My parents had a 442. great machine in a straight line.

Unfortunately, the CHP bought 442's as well and they bought the performance suspension as well :(

edutcher said...

Nonapod said...

There's something like 5-6 million voting age adults who've been convicted of a felony. That's a whole untapped group of democrat voters.

The recent voting scandal in FL as well as that 20% of "ineligibles" in OH suggests the tapping is well under way.

rhhardin said...

My theory is that Rubio is being blackmailed.

Or he could just be nuts.


Either works.

Rabel said...

You get a $2,400 tax credit for hiring an ex-felon.

Doug said...

BMW's and Dollar General's hiring policies have a disparate impact on black people ... who are convicted criminals.

Chip S. said...

fivewheels has at least partial bingo.

SGT Ted said...

This is Progressives in the EEOC once again telling us that black people are sub-human and cannot be held accountable for their actions.

SGT Ted said...

and yeas this is an attack at the behest of Unions.

TWO employees were dismissed and a lawsuit is needed? Bunk. This is a racist EEOC that only cares about black people.

ErnieG said...

Meanwhile, African-Americans and Hispanics are arrested at a rate that is two times to three times their proportion of the general population.

Maybe their behavior had something to do with it.

Tank said...

Doug said...

BMW's and Dollar General's hiring policies have a disparate impact on black people ... who are convicted criminals.

Black convicted criminals - our next suspect (LOL) class entitled to special protections and strict scrutiny.

Hey, it's their country now.

Terry said...

Have you ever looked at the demographic breakdown of people serving time? Incredible disparity.
Look at the gun crime stats some time, and then convince yourself that America's gun problem is due to white, middle-aged NRA members.

Chip S. said...

The EEOC is a sexist institution.

All five of its commissioners are women.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Removing the consequences from behavior is what the left is all about.

So it devolves to: Why be good?


Seriously.

Why SHOULD any of us obey the laws if we don't feel like it?

Why pay our taxes? License our vehicles? Buy insurance? Why not get on food stamps or as much government goodies as you can, even if you don't need it. Get on disability when you aren't disabled. Collect as much money as you can. Why register a gun when blacks and hispanics are not?

Really. Why SHOULD we pay any attention to the laws if there is no consequence.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Rabel said...

You get a $2,400 tax credit for hiring an ex-felon.

A felon is defined as a person who has committed a felony. There are no ex-felons.

Ignorance is Bliss said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
n.n said...

The civil rights arm of our government doesn't respect individual dignity. Unfortunately, for them, the premise of civil rights in America is individual dignity. The government, and in this case the EEOC, reveals an extraordinary corruption of their service.

Anyway, this was already known. This is just one of many "controversies" which will saturate people's minds and be progressively lost. The people engaged in this opportunistic enterprise exploit differentials and gradients to improve their political, economic, and social standing. Sometimes, they just do it to marginalize or eviscerate their competing interests because they can.

I still find it amusing that people recognize the potential and likely harm caused by monopolies in the private sector; but, with hope of redistributive and retributive change, rationalized abortion, etc., they are entirely permissive to formation of authoritarian monopolies.

FORWARD... to dysfunctional convergence. It seems to be inevitable.

Chip Ahoy said...

There is a word for this. Hang on.

I'm digging. Prisons populations paradox Instapundit yes James Taranto

This must be the best of the web today

Fox Butterfield, is that you?

Rabel said...

"A felon is defined as a person who has committed a felony. There are no ex-felons."

Your government knows better.

Thorley Winston said...

Diversity Bullshit tag needed on this one. Only a liberal would hold a private company accountable for what government actually did.


Maybe but isn’t it just bad to say that it is somehow the fault of the government that these people couldn’t managed to avoid breaking the law and going to jail like the remaining 96.8 percent of the population?


“We must reject the idea that every time a law's broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.”
-Ronald Reagan


Just so there’s no misunderstanding, I absolutely agree that the EEOC’s position is insane. That they have this kind of authority suggests that the appropriate response is to (a) reform or (b) repeal the law which delegates this kind of power to the EEOC.



virgil xenophon said...

@DBQ/

EXACTLY. If the Federal Govt is going to look the other way when illegal aliens flood our nation and are rewarded for their law-breaking with my tax dollars in the form of health-care and education dollars why indeed pay ANY taxes--or obey ANY laws as long as the government itself simultaneously officially sanctions lawbreaking while picking my pocket to throw my money at the law-breakers..

Anglelyne said...

AprilApple: While this nonsense is going on...

Marco Rubio and others are imploding the party to achieve Chuck Schumer’s dream.


See also:

"Please forget about Benghazi and Cincinnati and Edward Snowden’s girlfriend for a minute and pay attention to the main event.
[...]
Ignore the f—ing scandals for a few days and save the country from Chuck Schumer."

Anglelyne said...

virgil xenophon: @DBQ/

EXACTLY. If the Federal Govt is going to look the other way when illegal aliens flood our nation and are rewarded for their law-breaking with my tax dollars in the form of health-care and education dollars why indeed pay ANY taxes--or obey ANY laws as long as the government itself simultaneously officially sanctions lawbreaking while picking my pocket to throw my money at the law-breakers.


No kidding. (And Mr. Born-again amnesty supporter Boehner has the brass to throw around the word "traitor". Lol. TOTKO, I guess.)

rhhardin said...

There used to be a Big Lots nearby, speaking of similar sounding Dollar General.

Armstrong and Getty characterized Big Lots, apparently still going strong in California, as a Walmart that's been looted.

That was so accurate I thought I'd mention it.

Aridog said...

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Why SHOULD any of us obey the laws if we don't feel like it?

Strangely, I was lectured on just this idea yesterday, ...e.g., it right to disobey any law you perceive as unjust. Postulated on one of the endless NSA threads, with the claim that it was righteous and in accordance with John Locke's treatises on "Natural Law"...deftly avoiding mention of Locke's subsequent further remarks on "Civil Society."

It's all good. Without organized law, such as in a Republic, you can in fact "Hang the Sheriff" if you chose, as they did in Bannock Montana long ago.

David-2 said...

IANAL - and it would be nice if someone knowledgable commented on this - but it seems to me the EEOC picked these two as test cases because of "favorable facts" so that, after a win, they could then steamroll this policy over all companies regardless of the particular facts in those subsequent cases.

a) BMW, upon changing subcontractors, is enforcing this policy on workers who had passed a less strict version of the policy and had been working at their plant for years

b) Dollar General apparently (according to the article) refused to correct an error where they fired a person for violating their policy - but they had errored, the person didn't really violate their policy.

rhhardin said...

You'd think a felon would deal in birds of prey.

rhhardin said...

Perhaps sending your kids in to shoplift would be felonry.

Anglelyne said...

rhhardin: My theory is that Rubio is being blackmailed.

Or he could just be nuts.


Oh, I wouldn't go as far as "nuts" or black-letter blackmail. I think "ambitious but but not over-burdened with brains or integrity" covers it nicely.

Phil said...

Conservatives should file a huge class action against the IRS, EPA, and all these other agencies on "disparate impact" grounds.

deborah said...

This reminds me of the Syrian rebels refusing to go to the peace talks unless they are given more guns.

Aridog said...

The Drill SGT said...

Aridog, ... You must not have been a Californian.

Nope, plain old boring Detroiter. Yes, the state police around here did get around to some power pursuit cars in the form of 426 ci Hemi Dodges. That helped, but the real "enemy" of a hot rodder was the fact that you can't outrun radios.

The old 442 handled decent for its day with the upgrade suspension and the soft butyl(?)rubber based tires from Standard Oil gas stations....so long as you could handle 4 wheel drifts and stayed off loose gravel.

Richard Dolan said...

Interesting. Disparate impact was the theory of liability that Perez was desparate to keep out of the SCOTUS when Minneapolis had obtained certiorari in a different civil rithts case (housing, IIRC, not employment) finding liability using that analysis.

Aridog said...

This EEOC suit doesn't pass the giggle test. Let's see...South Carolina, Republican Governor Nikki Haley [ne: Nimrata Nikki Randhawa], a minority I suspect ... and first there was the NLRB & Boeing, now the EEOC and BMW.

Just who is being served here?

Rhetorical question.

Methadras said...

Cloward-Piven strategems.

Anglelyne said...

Aridog: Strangely, I was lectured on just this idea yesterday, ...e.g., it right to disobey any law you perceive as unjust. Postulated on one of the endless NSA threads, with the claim that it was righteous and in accordance with John Locke's treatises on "Natural Law"...deftly avoiding mention of Locke's subsequent further remarks on "Civil Society."

For a while now I've been mulling over the increasing appeals to "civil society" that I've been coming across in commentary, on a variety of subjects. What strikes me is that the appeal often seems to be made to some abstract entity - as if "civil society" is a concrete asset, a tangible reserve of social capital, that exists apart from and prior to the actual humans participating in it.

The thing about "civil society" is that it's rather tautological. You can appeal to civil society when robust civil society already exists - a state with shared norms wherein most members of every group or class can be relied on to respect the existing norms and laws.

But mostly, I see appeals to "civil society" from people (not addressing you here, Aridog) who've been diligently gnawing away at its foundations for several generations now, who seem to think "civil society" arises from somewhere "out there", not from among some law-abiding, norm-sharing flesh-and-blood population. Existing separately from law-abiding and norm-respecting individuals, it can be wielded as a tool to shame or cudgel them into continuing their own good behavior, while those in the protected classes (protected by wealth/power or client status) can violate the norms and laws as they please.

Now all human societies, even the most stable and law-abiding, will have some level of corruption and cronyism, preference, favoritism. This in itself doesn't indicate a weak or failing civil society, any more than any level of unemployment indicates an economy in bad shape. But also, consistently with human nature, the people benefiting from those preferences have great difficulty, or finally the inability, to recognize when they've pushed too far and "civil society", whose existence they took as given and which they assumed would protect them, has dissolved beneath them.

When you've reached the point where the attitude of "one law for you and another for me and mine, and by the way, fuck you" (or rather, "you must be law-abiding but not me or my clients, and by the way, fuck you") exceeds tolerable bounds, the appeal to "civil society" becomes just another display of arrogance.

cubanbob said...

Well it's obvious the EEOC has accomplished its original mission if it now has to use this to continue its existence. So it's time to abolish it.

Sigivald said...

Abolish the EEOC.

Problem solved.

Larry J said...

Dust Bunny Queen said...
Why SHOULD any of us obey the laws if we don't feel like it?


If the government believe it is no longer constrained by the Constitution then so are we. We're under no obligation to obey them.

On the topic of the NSA data gathering, some have claimed that it's legal because all three branches of government have authorized it. That's true, but just because something is legal, it doesn't mean it's right. There are many examples in US history where all three branches agreed on something only to admit later that they'd made a mistake. Slavery, the fugitive slave act, Separate but equal, the internment of the Japanese during WWII and Prohibition are just a few examples that quickly come to mind. Government actions aren't holy writ handed down from on high. They're the results of flawed human beings.

Peter said...

Perhaps the question is, when does "disparate impact" for felons morph into mandated "goals and timetables" preferences for felons?

As a correction for the present effects of past discrimination against felons, of course.

Revenant said...

Strangely, I was lectured on just this idea yesterday, ...e.g., it right to disobey any law you perceive as unjust.

Yes, and I hope you took notes. There will be a quiz later. :)

deftly avoiding mention of Locke's subsequent further remarks on "Civil Society."

I didn't mention them because they weren't applicable to the discussion. What's the section you think applies?

Revenant said...

On the topic of the NSA data gathering, some have claimed that it's legal because all three branches of government have authorized it. That's true, but just because something is legal, it doesn't mean it's right.

It not only isn't right, it isn't demonstrably true either.

All of the rulings are classified. We don't know if what the NSA did was approved by the courts or if they provided accurate and honest information to the courts before receiving the rulings. We don't know what Congress authorized. We do know the NSA lies to Congress.

Anyone who says "all three branches of government signed off on this" is being disingenuous.

MB said...

Continuing with this logic, the EEOC will eliminate citizen documentation checks because Hispanics are adversely affected.

Revenant said...

But mostly, I see appeals to "civil society" from people (not addressing you here, Aridog) who've been diligently gnawing away at its foundations for several generations now, who seem to think "civil society" arises from somewhere "out there", not from among some law-abiding, norm-sharing flesh-and-blood population. Existing separately from law-abiding and norm-respecting individuals, it can be wielded as a tool to shame or cudgel them into continuing their own good behavior, while those in the protected classes (protected by wealth/power or client status) can violate the norms and laws as they please.

Exactly so.

The concept of civil society and "the social contract" is that people agree to governance and the government agrees to respect the rights of the people.

Too many people -- and I do think Aridog is one of them, although not out of malevolence -- think of this sort of arrangement as a one-time, one-sided thing. I.e., the people have to keep their side of the bargain ("be governed"), but the government is given a pass on upholding its side of things.

The thing is, the social contract is only valid if both sides abide by it. If the government does not -- e.g., if it passes a law or enacts a policy that violates basic human rights -- then the government itself has torn up the social contract. There IS no "civil society" to appeal to. This is one of many reasons why nobody has any obligation to obey unjust laws. By definition an unjust law has no legitimacy.

People like Ari ought to ask themselves "what *won't* I do if the law says I have to do it". E.g., if the law said you had to kick a puppy, would you?

Jupiter said...

"Really. Why SHOULD we pay any attention to the laws if there is no consequence."

Virtue is its own reward.

Of course, the overlap of virtue and law in this country is decreasing rapidly. I think where we are headed is Lebanon. Armed, warring ethnic camps. Works for me.

Aridog said...

Revenant .... tell me something: who is it that decides, among individuals, individually, when a law is unjust? What should their actions be? Civil disobedience can be a precursor to civic action to change the law, within the body of law that establishes that mechanism. Just disobeying the law as an individual would accomplish nothing.

Or do you think individual opinion is justification for rousing a mob and taking to the streets with torches and pitch forks?

BTW...you have no idea what I think, only what you suppose. One clue I'll give up is that I think pissing in to the wind is pointless and that is the crux of wee Edward's entire tall tale.

Measure success by what you accomplish, not what you tear down or who you embarrass. Get back to me on this twinkle toes Snowden/NSA stuff in a year or two and let's see what has changed.

As another has asked on another thread, why wasn't all this noticed a decade ago when first revealed by at least 4 others with much better credentials than wee Edward?

If an absolute Yes/No choice must be made, then philosophically I'm down with Chip S's rather concise stance on this. In short, when in doubt,don't. Unfortunatley this issue will not lend itself to such simplicity.

Aridog said...

People like Ari ought to ask themselves "what *won't* I do if the law says I have to do it.

I've already related what I would do when I found injustice or illegality under federal law. I acted upon it, vetted my actions with trusted others, kept their confidence, and enabled change to occur, within the system, to correct the illegality and injustice.

David said...

Men, shmen. They don't count.

David said...

Where I live, there's a problem getting young black men to apply for jobs. Maybe requiring an actual application has a disparate impact also.

justine rehan said...

I take cover bingo online behind the soy sauce bottle...."

justine rehan said...

The guidance noted that in the past 20 years a rising number of Americans "have had contact with the criminal justice system" as well as "a major increase in the number of people with criminal records in the working-age population."

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alex clarke said...

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The Carnage Report said...

While the EEOC's suit against BMV is well-intentioned and agreeable in principle, it may make it harder to companies to protect themselves from legal challenges for using services provided by companies such as www.backgroundchecks.com who help screen potential liabilities.

The Carnage Report said...

While the EEOC's suit against BMV is well-intentioned and agreeable in principle, it may make it harder to companies to protect themselves from legal challenges for using services provided by companies such as www.backgroundchecks.com who help screen potential liabilities.

The Carnage Report said...

While the EEOC's suit against BMV is well-intentioned and agreeable in principle, it may make it harder to companies to protect themselves from legal challenges for using services provided by companies such as www.backgroundchecks.com who help screen potential liabilities.

Bill Bateman said...

So does this mean every white guy who could not make the NBA can sue on the same basis?

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