On April 25, 2012, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the oversight authority responsible for enforcing federal laws against employment discrimination, issued an updated guidance to employers regarding the use of arrest or conviction records in employment decisions. As described in a recent A/TCRRT op-ed in the Austin American-Statesman, what may constitute a civil rights violation, according to the EEOC guidance, is if hiring policies that exclude persons with a criminal record are not based on some kind of business necessity. In November 2013, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott filed a lawsuit against the EEOC challenging the updated guidance. The suit sought an injunction blocking enforcement of the guidance issued by the EEOC. However a federal judge ruled on August 20, 2014, that the State of Texas cannot presently challenge the EEOC guidance, and therefore ruled that the case had to be thrown out of court.
September 4, 2014