In a surprising move, on January 29, 2013, the Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs ("OFCCP") issued Directive 306, entitled "Complying with Nondiscrimination Provisions: Criminal Record Restrictions and Discrimination Based on Race and National Origin," instructing federal contractors to strongly consider federal anti-discrimination laws before excluding applicants from employment based on the results of criminal background checks. In so doing, the OFCCP adopted the Revised Enforcement Guidance on the Consideration of Arrest and Conviction Records in Employment Decisions issued by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") on April 25, 2012. Click here for our discussion of the revised guidance.
Directive 306 was issued just one day after U.S. District Court Judge for the Northern District of Ohio, Judge Patricia A. Gaughan, dismissed the EEOC's first lawsuit challenging the use of pre-employment credit reports. See EEOC v. Kaplan Higher Education Corp, et al., No. 10-CV-2882, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11722 (N.D. Ohio Jan. 28, 2013).