The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is suing discount retailer Dollar General Corp., and a BMW manufacturing plant in South Carolina over their use of criminal background checks to screen out job applicants or fire employees.
The agency says the policies discriminate against African Americans. The two lawsuits filed Tuesday are the first since the agency revised its guidance last year to warn employers against overly broad criminal checks to screen workers.
The EEOC says the BMW policy doesn't consider the nature of the crimes or how old they are. It alleges that Dollar General fired one employee even though the conviction report about her was wrong.
Officials at BMW and Dollar General did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
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