D.C. Transit Sued Over Background Checks

The Washington, D.C. transit system is the latest employer to be sued over its use of criminal background checks.  The Title VII suit filed last week on behalf of nine African American men in U.S. District Court alleges that the system’s criminal background check program is biased against minorities.

“The policy disqualifies many job applicants and employees based on criminal history that is not related to the job at issue or occurred so long ago — in some cases, 20 or 30 years in the past — that it is irrelevant to any fair determination of employee honesty, reliability or safety,” according to the complaint filed in U.S. District Court.

D.C. is one of several jurisdictions that has enacted “ban-the-box” legislation that prevents employers from rejecting potential job applicants based on their criminal background but allows screening after a job interview.

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