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Staffing Firm Settles Ex-Con’s Claim

January 09 2012

A staffing firm reached a settlement with a worker who said he was denied a job because of his criminal record, according to an announcement by the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia and law firm Berger & Montague P.C.

Al Dunn claimed Integrity Staffing Solutions denied him a job at an Allentown, Pa., warehouse because of a criminal conviction for involuntary manslaughter, according to the Public Interest Law Center. The conviction was from 30 years ago when Dunn, then in his early 20s, shot a man who threatened him and his family, according to the center.

Under the settlement, Integrity reaffirmed its policy of providing equal employment opportunity for people with past criminal convictions and has agreed to change its employment advertisements and job applications to comply with its policy, according to the center. In addition, the company further re-emphasized to supervisors and personnel the importance of and appropriate review of job applicants with past criminal convictions.

“We are very pleased that Integrity Staffing Solutions took prompt steps to ensure that Mr. Dunn was treated fairly under the law,” said Shanon Carson of Berger & Montague. “It is our hope that the example set by Integrity Staffing Solutions will help build awareness among employers across Pennsylvania that policies discriminating against people with criminal backgrounds may be unlawful.”

Arrest and conviction records as a barrier to hiring have come up on the radar of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission as a possible concern. The EEOC held a meeting on the issue last year.

Blanket policies against hiring people with a conviction are a concern, according to Jennifer Clarke, executive director of the Public Interest Law Center.

“Such policies remain a serious problem, with more Americans than ever before — especially racial minorities — struggling to find a job and a place in society under the weight of ancient criminal convictions,” Clarke said.


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