Pepsi paying $3.1M in EEOC case

It’s not uncommon for companies to conduct criminal background checks on job applicants, but a settlement between Pepsi Beverages and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is a reminder that not using the checks legally may be costly.

Pepsi has agreed to pay $3.1 million to settle federal charges that it discriminated against job applicants by using criminal background checks to screen them out even if they had not been convicted of a crime, or had been convicted of minor offenses.

The EEOC, as reported by the Associated Press, said the screenings disproportionately excluded more than 300 blacks and Hispanics from vying for jobs. The complaints against Pepsi first surfaced in 2006, and the company said it has been working with the EEOC since then to revise its hiring policies.

From the AP:

Using arrest and conviction records to deny employment can be illegal if it’s irrelevant for the job, according to the EEOC, which enforces the nation’s employment discrimination laws. The agency says such blanket policies can limit job opportunities for minorities with higher arrest and conviction rates than whites.

In addition to paying the settlement, Pepsi plans to “make jobs available to victims of the old policy if they are still interested in jobs at Pepsi and are qualified for the openings.”

A spokesman said the company is “committed to promoting diversity and inclusion.

9 comments Add your comment


January 12th, 2012
12:56 pm

EEOC should rule on blanket credit checks for screening potential employees.


January 12th, 2012
9:57 pm

Credit checking prospective employees is one of the smartest moves businesses ever made. People who don’t pay their bills usually are not dependable employees.


January 13th, 2012
1:05 pm


January 12th, 2012
9:57 pm

If so how do you explain how crappier service is becoming in all industries? Don’t get me started on unethical business practices.


January 13th, 2012
1:09 pm

Sam may not know squat about the products or services while talking to customers who call customer service, but at least he has a stellar credit score.


January 13th, 2012
2:30 pm

A lot of people have lost their jobs and homes by no fault of their own. Therefore could not pay their bills. People from other countries who come to work here are subject to the background checks or credit checks issues because they have no history. Yet they can be hired… Sometimes they speak little to no English as well…. Americans are required to take at least 12 years of English before finishing
High school…. To compete for American jobs…. What gives…


fred gillen

January 13th, 2012
6:02 pm

as a small business owner this is afearful precedent which, hindersa business from protecting thier cuustomerfrom,compromised,servicequalityand the business owner from unfair law suits,commonj sense alkone dictates that a persons past behavior is a good indicator of how they are likely to behave in the future besides as the ones who have to live with the results of these decisions, that government governs best which governs least

Garfield Cat

January 17th, 2012
3:46 pm

Now the EEOC is guaranting jobs for deadbeats and thieves. You can’t blame them for looking out for Obama’s voter base. It is not businesses that are limiting job opportunities for minorities with higher arrest and conviction rates than whites. It is the individuals themselves for committing crimes and having deadbeat credit ratings.

And the EEOC did this to Pepsi after all the affirmative action that Pepsi has taken for the Democratic Voter Base.

What Next? Is the EEOC going to tell individuals who they can hire to clean up their houses or cut their lawns?

Affirmative action gone awry.

PaPa Looey.

January 17th, 2012
3:49 pm

If I were in charge of Pepsi, I would threaten to shut down and lay off all the employees over this ruling by the most racist and prejudiced organization in the U.S. Government.
That ought to get Obama and Eric Holder out of office in 2012.

Black Sheep

January 17th, 2012
3:52 pm

Instead of encouraging slothfulness, criminal behavior and dishonesty, the Government should be encouraging self-responsibility for one’s own actions and rewarding those who stay on the straight and narrow path to success instead of rewarding those who don’t care how to live a moral life.