On March 24, 2015, there was a hearing on a package of EEOC reform bills before the House Subcommittee on Workforce Protections of the House Education and the Workforce Committee

The committee took testimony on four bills: H.R. 548, the Certainty in Enforcement Act of 2015; H.R. 549, the Litigation Oversight Act of 2015; H.R. 550, the EEOC Transparency and Accountability Act; and H.R. 1189, the Preserving Employee Wellness Programs Act.  It is H.R. 548 on which we focus as that is the bill to create a safe harbor from Title VII violations for employers who conduct criminal and background checks in compliance with state law.

The Republicans and most of the witnesses did a good job at highlighting the EEOC’s overreach and aggressiveness, and the confusion it caused employers in the development of its criminal history guidance.  The Democrats and the witness for the Lawyers’ Committee on Civil Rights managed to conflate the EEOC guidance and ban-the-box procedures.  They also managed to insinuate that people with criminal histories never get jobs.  While we know that that’s not true, they said it anyway.

The hearing can be viewed as an archived webcast.