COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP/WVOC) - The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is suing discount retailer Dollar General Corporation 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 contends 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 does not consider the nature of the crimes or how old they are.
The commission says when the automaker ran background checks on logistics workers, it fired any with criminal records. Some employees had worked at BMW for more than a decade, and most of those fired were black.
The EEOC alleges that Dollar General fired one employee even though the conviction report about her was wrong.