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Equal Employment Opportunity Developments

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In recognition of the unique insight HR professionals have on today’s workplaces, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) invited SHRM to participate in two recent hearings.

Check Checks:  On October 20, SHRM member Christine Walters, MAS, J.D., SPHR, with the FiveL Company of Westminster, Maryland, testified about the use of credit checks in the employment process.  Citing data from a recent SHRM survey, Walters clarified key misunderstandings about the use of credit information. 

Specifically, she pointed out that employer use of credit checks has remained virtually unchanged in the last six years.  In addition, most organizations do not run credit checks on all job candidates.  Instead, they conduct credit checks only for positions where the information is most relevant, such as those involving handling money and customer credit card information.

Age Discrimination:  At a November 17 session on the issue of workplace age discrimination in today’s economy, SHRM member Cornelia Gamlem, president of GEMS Group, Ltd., of Herndon, Virginia, testified on effective employment practices.  Presenting on a panel with AARP, SHRM’s testimony highlighted several workplace ideas, including:

  • Strategies to create discrimination-free workplaces that recognize the value of older workers;
  • Programs, such as flexible work arrangements, which enable employees to continue working past retirement age if they choose to do so; and
  • Ways to implement reductions in force to avoid inadvertent age-based discrimination.
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