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Employer Can Reject Applicant for 40-Year-Old Murder Conviction

This report relates to 1 case(s)

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    El v. Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, 479 F.3d 232 (0 other reports)

Author: Michael T. Borruso

In El v. Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, +479 F.3d 232 (3rd Cir. 2007), the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals addressed the legality of an employer's ban against hiring ex-convicts of violent crimes. Forty years before applying for the job in question, the applicant had been convicted of second-degree murder.

Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination against job applicants and employees based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin. +42 USCS 2000e-2. The applicant, who was black, claimed that the employer's policy had a disparate impact on minorities because they were more likely than whites to have past convictions.

In this case, the 3rd Circuit held that the employer's unchallenged expert evidence established that its policy was justified by business necessity. However, the court noted that if the applicant had done anything to challenge the employer's experts, the case probably would have gone to trial.