Can we screen out anyone with an arrest record, even if it means we hire fewer African Americans?
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If a hiring requirement has a disproportionate effect on one race, it may be illegal.
I'm one of the hiring managers at my company. Applicants for all but the most senior positions have to complete a job application that asks whether they have ever been arrested or convicted for a crime. If they check the box to indicate either an arrest or conviction, we've been told to just toss the application and not consider them further, no matter how good their credentials and experience are. The police force in our city has been sued several times for racial profiling and mistreatment of people of color, particularly African Americans. I'm concerned that screening out anyone who's ever been arrested might unfairly perpetuate these problems -- and get our company in trouble. Is it legitimate to refuse to hire anyone with a criminal record or are we creating a liability risk?