What can I do if I think an employer has treated my criminal history more harshly than other job applicants because of my race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or national origin?
If you believe that your criminal history was treated more harshly than someone else’s similar criminal history because of your race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, nation origin, etc., it is important for you to gather all the evidence that supports your claim, especially any information showing that the employer treated you differently than someone else with a similar record.
You can also contact an employment attorney or organization that specializes in protecting employees from discrimination. See PG. 599 for how to contact someone.
The following evidence helps show an employer discriminated against you by treating your criminal record differently because of your race, sex, religion, national origin, or other protected characteristic:
- The employer hired other job applicants or employees with similar criminal records and similar job qualifications;
- The employer did not require background checks for other job applicants for the same position;
- The employer gave other job applicants a chance to explain their criminal record;
- The employer made comments showing bias or stereotypes about you, based on your race, sex, religion, or national origin, including group stereotypes about crime; or
- The only major difference between you and other applicants or employees who were treated more favorably than you (such as job applicants chosen over you, former employees, and employees in positions similar to the position you applied for), is your race, sex, religion, national origin, or other protected characteristic;
- Information about the employer’s overall workforce (i.e., other employees), job applicants, application procedures, and background check data, shows that the employer treated your criminal history more negatively than other applicants/employees of other races, sex, religions, or national origin; and/or
- Any other information showing that the employer treated you differently than other job applicants with similar qualifications and a similar record, because of your race, sex, religion, or national origin.
EEOC Enforcement Guidance at § IV. ↑