Congressman Doug Lamborn (CO-05) today sent a letter to the Chairwoman of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission asking the Commission to withdraw new guidelines regarding employer background checks.
Lamborn became aware of the new regulations when the President and CEO of the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Stephen Bartolin, contacted him about a recent EEOC investigation brought against the hotel for doing criminal background checks on job applicants.
The new regulations discourage employers from doing routine background checks on the basis that certain minorities have a higher criminal conviction rate. Therefore, by not hiring someone because of their criminal background, employers are "systemically discriminating."
In a letter to Lamborn, Bartolin states:
"It is clear that the EEOC is trying to overreach its mission and authority by trying to tell employers what practices they believe are best for businesses even though they themselves have no perspective from the employer standpoint.
"Recently the EEOC has made an overly burdensome request for extensive information for applicants and employee data, going back as far as five years. Thus far, we have spent $20,000 in legal fees on this frivolous investigation by the EEOC, and will likely grind up tens of thousands more."
In a letter to the EEOC, Lamborn states:
"It appears your guidelines conflict with various federal and state laws and may force employers into an unfortunate situation. They must choose between the continued use of background checks at the risk of being sued and/or investigated by the EEOC, or reduce the use of background checks and suffer the risk of legal action for negligence in the hiring process. This kind of business uncertainty created by government decree could lead to fewer people being hired."
Lamborn also noted that two recent studies cited by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights in a recent letter to several House Committees found the lack of criminal background checks may actually lead to more racial discrimination in hiring.
Lamborn is requesting the EEOC immediately withdraw the new guidelines and "completely stop any and all investigations associated with them."