Report: EEOC sues Dollar General over background checks

New York -- The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is suing Dollar General Corp. over its use of criminal background checks to screen out job applicants or fire employees, according to the Associated Press and other media reports.

The EEOC also filed suit against a BMW manufacturing plant in South Carolina. It said the plant did not consider the nature of the crimes or how old they are.

The agency said blacks suffer disproportionately from job loss due to criminal background checks. In 2012, it revised its guidelines and advised employers against extremely broad criminal checks to screen workers, saying the checks could be counter to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race and national origin as well as retaliation, after the agency and companies could not reach a settlement.

The two lawsuits, which were filed Tuesday, are the first since the EEOC revised its guidance.

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